Morgan Stanley and IFC Invest in eleni LLC

  Morgan Stanley and IFC Invest in eleni LLC

Business Wire

NEW YORK & WASHINGTON & ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia -- January 22, 2013

eleni LLC, a newly formed company led by CEO Dr. Eleni Gabre-Madhin, announced
today that Morgan Stanley and IFC (International Finance Corporation) have
both agreed to make an equity investment in the Nairobi, Kenya-based company
which will incubate and support the formation of commodity exchanges across
Africa, helping to promote food security.

Building on the success of the highly acclaimed Ethiopia Commodity Exchange
(ECX), which she founded and managed from 2008 to late 2012, Gabre-Madhin and
co-founders Mr. Keith Thomas and Mr. Jawad Ali have recently launched eleni,
which is positioned to be the industry leader in designing, building, and
supporting the operations of commodity exchange eco-systems in frontier
markets. The Company’s business model is based on delivering turnkey projects
on a Public-Private Partnership (“PPP”) basis, combining private investment
with the best of know-how, technology and management, to support exchange
projects. The Company expects to launch several such projects in 2013.

Dr. Eleni Gabre-Madhin commented:

“I cannot think of a better time to develop this business in Africa. Africa is
the world’s last frontier for agriculture, with only one quarter of its yield
potential achieved and seventy percent of its farmland as yet unused. Our
company represents passion, excellence, integrity and innovation. Our aim is
to build vibrant exchanges across frontier economies, going beyond Africa and
beyond agriculture, to transform not only commodity markets but also the
livelihoods of millions of producers.”

Funding of $5 million for eleni LLC has been raised by investments from Morgan
Stanley, which has invested in a number of exchanges and market centers around
the world, and IFC, part of the World Bank Group, the largest global
development institution focused exclusively on the private sector, which will
invest up to $2.5 million. Beyond the initial funding, each country or
regional exchange project will involve the formation of a private investor
consortium. eleni aims to rollout exchanges progressively across Africa and
elsewhere in the coming years.

Mr. Gary Offner, Managing Director of Morgan Stanley, said:

“Morgan Stanley is pleased to join with IFC in supporting eleni and its vision
of improving transparency and liquidity in agricultural markets in the
developing world, where food security is often a pressing concern. Morgan
Stanley is committed to leveraging its financial expertise in support of
business models that help address society’s greatest challenges and as an
early strategic investor in successful market structure companies. We look
forward to bringing our expertise to help eleni achieve positive social and
economic impact.”

Georgina Baker, Director Trade and Supply Chain, IFC, noted:

“Africa is a strategic priority for IFC, and, by improving the functioning of
commodity markets, this project will enhance productivity and risk management.
It will also make finance more accessible for farmers, helping them to
increase their share of the final price and get paid more quickly.”

It is also anticipated that a third investor, the 8 Miles Fund, an
Africa-focused private equity fund, will join the investment round within a
month, together with envisaged support from the African Development Bank.

                                  -- ENDS --

Notes to editors

About Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) is a leading global financial services firm
providing a wide range of investment banking, securities, investment
management and wealth management services. The Firm’s employees serve clients
worldwide including corporations, governments, institutions and individuals
from more than 1,200 offices in 43 countries. For further information about
Morgan Stanley, please visit

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing
countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing
capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to
businesses and governments. In FY12, our investments reached an all-time high
of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create
jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world’s most pressing development
challenges. For more information, visit

About eleni LLC

eleni LLC is positioned to be the industry leader in building and investing in
commodity exchanges in frontier economies, primarily in Africa but also in
Asia. The co-founders of eleni bring a wealth of proven experience on the
ground, having built the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange (“ECX”) into a $1.2
billion market in three years, and are indisputably the thought leaders in
their field, having been recognized with the Yara Prize for Agricultural
Transformation in Africa and the African Banker Icon award, among others. For
more information, please visit


Brand Communications for eleni LLC
Terhas Berhe
+44 7941 220264
Sue Scott
+44 207 638 6856
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