Kingdom Zephyr closes Fund II on $492m

Commitments to the Pan-African private equity firm, led by managing partner Kofi Bucknor, came just shy of its $500m target.

Kingdom Zephyr Africa Management has closed its second Pan Africa-focused fund narrowly short of its $500 million target. The firm raised $492 million for Pan African Investment Partners II Fund (PAIP II).

It represents a significant jump in fund size, given Fund I closed on $122.5 million in 2003.

Kingdom Zephyr began deploying capital from Fund II in the first half of 2009, when it inked three deals in rapid succession. It invested $20 million investment in Johannesburg-listed supplier of building materials Buildworks; €14.3 million in investment in Thunnus Overseas Group, a producer and distributor of canned tuna with operations in Cote d’Ivoire, Madagascar and France; and €35 million in Mixta Africa, a real estate developer.

Kofi Bucknor

Kofi Bucknor, managing partner of Kingdom Zephyr, said the fundraising underscores the “ever-increasing focus on Africa as a key emerging market”.

“Despite current global conditions, long-term improvements in the African investment environment and a number of significant business success stories in the region have all contributed to improved investment prospects,” he said in a statement.

Among the LPs in PAIP II are a number of private sector investors, development finance institutions and wealthy families from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the United States, said the firm.

Development finance institutions such as the African Development Bank, the European Investment Bank, the International Finance Corporation, FMO (Netherlands Development Finance Company), and the Development Bank of Southern Africa committed to the fund.

Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek has invested with Kingdom Zephyr for the first time.

Also among the LPs is Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud of Saudi Arabia, who co-founded Kingdom Zephyr via his investment company Kingdom Holding in a 2004 joint venture with New York investment firm Zephyr Management.