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Business News Fri, 1 Dec 2006

US Company Facilitates OPIC's $30 Million Mortgage Financing

ACCRA, Ghana--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Massachusetts-based Broad Cove Partners Inc., an emerging market financial advisory firm, is pleased to announce the development of a new $30 million long-term financing facility that will help address the shortage of affordable housing and mortgage finance in Ghana, the West African nation formerly known as the “Gold Coast.”

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) – an agency of the US federal government – and Ghana Home Loans Limited (GHL), concluded months of planning and negotiation by signing a loan agreement on November 28, 2006 in Accra, the Ghanaian capital. The signing was attended by U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Alphonso Jackson, Ghana’s Minister of Housing Hackman Owusu Agyeman, the US Ambassador to Ghana Pamela Bridgewater, and OPIC’s Executive Vice President John Simon.

The US$30 million, 18-year facility will allow GHL to originate US-style residential mortgage loans to finance the acquisition of single-family residences in Ghana, a relatively poor country of about 20 million people where an average family of four lives on less than $2,000 per year and where a lack of mortgage finance institutions has made it very difficult for middle class families to own homes. Ghana Home Loans will provide mortgages to enable individuals or couples to buy houses with a 25% down-payment and to pay the mortgage balance over a term of fifteen years.

Broad Cove Partners Inc., of Hingham, Massachusetts, is the manager of GHL-USA Investment Partners, which owns just over 25% of Ghana Home Loans. Broad Cove Partners served as technical advisor to Ghana Home Loans in structuring the transaction and in raising capital from high-net worth U.S. investors.

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"We are pleased to be an investor in this partnership and to have OPIC's confidence and support for an initiative which will have a positive impact on Ghana's development and on the quality of life for many families who lack adequate housing at the current time," said James C. Brenner, Chief Executive Officer of Broad Cove Partners, also in attendance at the signing.

A team from Thacher, Proffitt & Wood LLP, led by Kofi Appenteng and Bob McCarthy, served as U.S. legal advisors to GHL and Broad Cove Partners through the transaction process.

Ghana Home Loans Limited is managed by a team of local entrepreneurs experienced in venture capital, real estate and finance. In addition to the firm's management and Broad Cove’s US investors, two major financial institutions – Standard Bank of South Africa, and Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden N.V. (FMO - the development finance institution of the Netherlands) – made significant equity investments in GHL.

Broad Cove Partners Inc. is an emerging market private equity advisor founded in 2004 to provide investment and strategic advisory services to micro, small and medium-size enterprises (MSMEs) and to those institutional investors, governments and corporations which support them.

Source: BUSINESS WIRE
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