BTG Pactual prepping African fund launch

The Brazilian investment bank is busting out of Latin America with plans to raise $1bn for an Africa-focused fund.

BTG Pactual is planning to launch a $1 billion African private equity fund, a source familiar with the matter told Private Equity International. 

The Brazilian investment bank has not released any information regarding sector or regional focus for the fund, the source said, only that it plans to launch the vehicle at some point in the near future. Fundraising is expected to take between six months and one year. 

BTG chief executive Andre Esteves reportedly mentioned plans of the fund at a Brazil-Africa trade seminar in Rio de Janeiro, according to Dow Jones. 

Africa’s private equity market, though small, has grown substantially over the last year, attracting attention from a variety of fund managers. The Carlyle Group is nearing a close on its $500 million debut vehicle for the Sub-Saharan region after receiving a $50 million commitment from the African Development Bank. In April, musician Bob Geldof held a first close on his 8 Miles fund at $200 million. 

BTG has already established itself as one of the largest domestic private equity firms in Brazil, and has shown interest in expanding beyond its domestic market. In June, the bank closed on $1.5 billion for a Latin America-focused fund after only six months of fundraising.  

The bank has grown substantially since then. Earlier this year, BTG merged with Celfin Capital, which expanded the bank’s reach into the Andean markets. Celfin has a small, but important, private equity business of its own, having sourced capital for funds raised by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Southern Cross.  

The bank followed up that deal with a $3.65 billion initial public offering, selling 117 million units at R$31.25 per share (€12.40; $16.23), according to reports.