Duet and TLG to complete first joint deal

The private equity arm of asset manager Duet Group and private equity firm TLG are to complete their first joint deal next week, according to a source close to the firm. Just last week the two revealed they were combining their private equity activities.

Duet Group and TLG are exercising their new joint muscle by closing their first deal, which is in the West African health insurance space, according to a source with knowledge on the matter. The firms declined to comment, but the source said the pair were hoping to close some bigger deals in the coming three months. 

Last week Duet announced it was incorporating TLG Capital into its private equity arm Duet Africa Private Equity. Duet committed capital to TLG a few months ago, according to a source close to the matter. TLG specialises in growth-capital investments in emerging markets, most notably in Sub-Saharan Africa. 

The new partnership will allow for two levels of investments to be made by one team, according to the firm. It will now do both larger deals and smaller ones of $15 million or less, which TLG currently specialises in. TLG itself has already deployed $25 million from its current fund, and is understood to have approximately double that amount left. 

TLG declined to comment on the fund’s available capital.

According to the firm, Duet wants to make a big move into Africa, and has a similar investment philosophy to TLG. Zain Latif, principal at TLG Capital, said Duet already had some private equity holdings in the African listed market, but wanted to expand its activities. TLG offers more ‘on the ground’ experience, which will help Duet invest in the region, Latif added.

Duet could not be reached for comment. 

The joint private equity arm now consists of 10 or 11 people, according to TLG. Duet hired Saad Aouad earlier this year to head the team but does not plan to make any immediate hires. The investment team will be developed as the years go on, according to Latif. 

This is not the only recent collaboration in the African market. Pan-African private equity firm Emerging Capital Partners just signed a cooperation agreement with the International Finance Corporation to participate in its Private Equity Africa Climate Change Investment Support Programme. ECP is the first private equity firm to participate in the programme.

Another financial development institution, CDC, also recently made a $20 million commitment to private equity firm SilverStreet Capital’s agriculture fund. Many investments in Africa are centred on socially beneficial projects which nonetheless hold commercial value.