Categories: Business

Amundi-Acba made a huge investment in the RA economy

Amundi-Acba made an investment from the assets of Balanced and Conservative pension funds in the first EU-Armenia SME private equity fund that invests in the equity capital of companies operating in various sectors of the RA economy.

The fund is managed by Amber Capital Armenia, the assets are about 60 million USD and the investment of Amundi-Acba is 6 million USD making 10% of the fund’s assets.

The fund made one of its investments in Walnut farms. Amber Capital Armenia has invested 3 million US dollars in Walnut Farms, Amundi-Acba’s share makes about 300,000 US dollars.

The company Walnut Farms has been engaged in walnut processing for 6 years and a new Armenian future brand the Nut is created on 100 hectares of land in Armavir marz.

The founding director of the company, a Lebanese-Armenian Samuel Samuelyan, noted that this is an investment that looks to the future, the result of this business will be visible after years, it is a long-term and prospective work, which will foster the creation of the Armenian industry of nuts and pulses.

Jean Mazejian, the CEO at Amundi-Acba Asset Management, said: “We made an indirect investment from the assets of pension funds in Walnut Farms through Amber Capital. Agriculture is a priority for Armenia’s economy. The activity carried out by Walnut Farms is an innovation, which will soon create a new industry in the country and the vision of development foresees the products be exported abroad. In addition to creating jobs, developing the local market and economy, Walnut Farms, creates an ecosystem in the country that contributes to Armenia in becoming a part of the global economy by introducing the latest technologies into business processes”. 

Hrayr Aslanyan, the Deputy Executive Officer at Amundi-Acba Asset Management, fund manager emphasized: “The company will have the opportunity to significantly enlarge the walnut orchards and build a new factory with this investment. Besides, it promotes the creation of jobs especially in rural communities. In addition, in the context of investing from pension funds the most important factor is the partner’s experience, which meets Amundi-Acba’s standards.

 “The business founders have two sources of financing, one is the loan instruments – the bank, and the other source is the equity capital. The banking sector in Armenia is quite saturated and functions effectively, however, there was a lack of equity capital. Apart from money, Amber Capital was able to provide a number of other advantages to the company, mainly in the field of corporate management. After the investment, a board of directors was established where we have our representative, a financial director was appointed and an external audit institute was introduced. This fosters the culture of the company since it moves from a small institution to a corporate stage. The role of Amundi Acba Asset Management is very important, they have been with us since the first day, the total investment of 60 million AMD would not have been made if it was not for the first investment” said Grigor Harutyunyan, the Investment Director at Amber Capital Armenia.

Walnut Farms wants to create a community where all pulse producers can share experiences how to plant orchards, cultivate them and implement technologies.

Amundi-Acba Asset Management was established in Armenia by the French Amundi and ACBA Bank in 2013. Amundi-ACBA asset management manages three pension funds, benefiting from the Amundi advanced know-how, expertise and technical support. As of June 30, 2023, the assets under the management of Amundi-Acba made about 351 billion AMD.

Back in 2020, Amundi-Acba invested a certain part of the pension funds in the EU-Armenia Small and Medium Enterprise Fund managed by Amber Capital Armenia. The fund invests in various companies operating in the real sector of the economy.

Amber Capital Armenia is the first institutional private equity fund manager in Armenia. The fund is registered in Luxembourg and its assets are about 60 million US dollars. The investment in Walnut Farms is 5% of the total fund.

The company Walnut Farms operates in the field of growing high-value agricultural products in Armenia. The company processes and exports walnut from ecological regions of Armenia.