KKR seals first Africa deal

The firm has invested $200m in Ethiopia-based rose grower Afriflora through its European Fund III.

US-based Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) has completed its first deal in Africa with the acquisition of an undisclosed stake in Afriflora, an Ethiopian-based rose grower and distributor, according to a statement.

Financial details were not disclosed, but a source close to the matter said KKR invested $200 million in the deal.

Afriflora, a company that produces and sells sustainably-grown roses, was founded and run by the Dutch Barnhoorn family, which will remain invested in the business. The company’s main growing facility is located in Ziway, Ethiopia, which according to KKR, is the largest single rose growing facility in the world.

“This first investment reflects the long-term commitment of our firm to the wider African region. We look forward to making further investments across the continent through our private equity, infrastructure and energy investment platforms,” Johannes Huth, head of KKR Europe, Middle East and Africa, said in the statement.

KKR made the investment from its European Fund III, a €6.79 billion, 2008-vintage. This fund has a mandate to invest a certain percent of the vehicle outside Europe, according to a source familiar with the matter. The investment comes as KKR is currently in market attempting to raise €3 billion for its fourth European fund, which has a €3.5 billion hard-cap.

It is unclear whether KKR has plans to raise a dedicated Africa fund. In April, fellow US-based firm The Carlyle Group closed its first Sub-Saharan Africa Fund on $698 million, north of its $500 million target.
US-based Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) has completed its first deal in Africa with the acquisition of an undisclosed stake in Afriflora, an Ethiopian-based rose grower and distributor, according to a statement.

Financial details were not disclosed, but a source close to the matter said KKR invested $200 million in the deal.

Afriflora, a company that produces and sells sustainably-grown roses, was founded and run by the Dutch Barnhoorn family, which will remain invested in the business. The company’s main growing facility is located in Ziway, Ethiopia, which according to KKR, is the largest single rose growing facility in the world.

“This first investment reflects the long-term commitment of our firm to the wider African region. We look forward to making further investments across the continent through our private equity, infrastructure and energy investment platforms,” Johannes Huth, head of KKR Europe, Middle East and Africa, said in the statement.

KKR made the investment from its European Fund III, a €6.79 billion, 2008-vintage. This fund has a mandate to invest a certain percent of the vehicle outside Europe, according to a source familiar with the matter. The investment comes as KKR is currently in market attempting to raise €3 billion for its fourth European fund, which has a €3.5 billion hard-cap.

While KKR is planning to do more investments in Africa, it is understood it has no plans to raise a dedicated Africa fund. In April, fellow US-based firm The Carlyle Group closed its first Sub-Saharan Africa Fund on $698 million, north of its $500 million target.