Carlyle seeks sparkling return with Diamond Bank

The firm has acquired a stake in the Nigerian bank using its dedicated sub-Saharan Africa vehicle

The Carlyle Group has made a $147 million investment in Nigerian commercial bank Diamond Bank, according to a statement from the firm.

Following the investment, which came through the bank’s recently-completed $305 million rights issue, Carlyle will become a “significant shareholder”. Diamond Bank is listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

Carlyle did not respond to a request for further comment at press time. 

Proceeds from the rights issue will be used to develop the bank’s IT infrastructure, working capital support and to expand and refurbish its branches.

“Nigeria is the largest and one of the fastest growing economies in Africa, and Diamond Bank is well positioned to continue to benefit from Nigeria’s attractive macro-economic trends,” Genevieve Sangudi, managing director and head of West Africa for Carlyle’s sub-Saharan Africa fund said in a statement.

Carlyle invested in Diamond Bank using its sub-Saharan Africa dedicated vehicle, which closed in April on $698 million, almost 40 percent above its $500 million target.

The Carlyle Sub-Saharan Africa Fund and its affiliates have so far invested around $300 million across a range of industries, including logistics, mining services, retail and financial services, and across several geographies, including Nigeria, Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Southern Africa, according to the firm.

In January, Carlyle teamed up with Investec Asset Management to invest in J&J Africa, a pan-African logistics company which focuses on road transportation along the Beira corridor of Southwest Africa. The firm also invested in Export Trading Group, a Tanzania-based agribusiness company, in November 2012.

Look out for Private Equity International’s Emerging Markets Special, which will be published in the forthcoming December/January issue