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July 16, 2015 - several years ago, Justus Martens and Erik Baas decided to set up a one-hundred million florin local investment fund, so that they could put their extensive international experience as businessmen, investors and financial specialists to good use and invest in companies in Curacao with the goal of strengthening the economy of Curacao.
 
In most countries, local companies have access to growth capital via the stock market and/or private equity funds. These financial instruments, which are so important for economic development, have until now been missing in Curacao or have never been applied, and for that reason, the creation of a local investment fund is crucial for the growth of the national economy. 
 
Today, the documentation is being signed for the creation of the Curacao Growth Fund - CGF (www.curacaogrowthfund.com). The largest pension fund in the country, APC is the initial investor in this venture, which will be managed by Martens and Baas, together with other principals -- under the name CGF Management. The expectation is that other institutional investors will join the fund in the coming year. The fund will work together with its sister fund, the Aruba Growth Fund (investors: APFA, the pension funds of WEB, Elmar and APA, CMB, Meta and Romar), where possible. For APC this represents another important step in diversifying and expanding its local investment activities.
 
For the next seven years the capital of the Curacao Growth Fund will be invested in the form of shares in local companies; so not in the form of loans. These companies include existing, medium and large enterprises in all sectors of the economy. What they have in common is their potential to continue to grow through regional expansion, diversification and investments. Companies must have a good financial track record and a strong management team to be  considered for investment.
 
In today’s business environment, it is very difficult for companies in Curacao to attract new capital, and practically impossible for business owners to sell their shares. Capital is not available at the moment and family-owned companies are not able to find solutions for their succession challenges. If interested investors can be found. They are usually from foreign countries and thereby less inclined to uphold and safeguard local interests in terms of employment, continuity, and company culture. The Curacao Growth Fund provides a solution.
 
The investors are committed to the further development of the local economy, and believe in the potential of local companies. They share this confidence with the investment team and will contribute a crucial service for a more sustainable economic development in the years to come. The Curacao Growth Fund will make sure that, just as in many other countries, an investment instrument exists that allows local investors to be able to participate in the equity growth of local companies.