Nigerian asset manager, listed Swedish group launch firm

Private equity interest in West Africa continues to gather momentum, the latest example being the establishment of ARM Capital Partners.

Listed Swedish investment company Kinnevik has joined forces with Nigerian asset management and financial services group Asset & Resource Management (ARM) to launch a new private equity firm. Each will commit $15 million to the firm’s first fund, which will be launched before the end of the year.

The private equity firm, to be called ARM Capital Partners, will be 30 percent owned by Kinnevik and will operate from Lagos, Nigeria, according to a statement. Further details about its strategy were not disclosed.

Private equity interest in West Africa continues to gather momentum. In July, African Capital Alliance, a Lagos-based private equity firm founded in 1997, attracted a $50 million commitment from UK fund of funds CDC Group for its latest vehicle. It is targeting up to up to $500 million.

At the time CDC Group’s portfolio director for Africa, Jean-Marc Savi de Tove, described the private equity opportunity in Nigeria as “never having been brighter”, because of the ongoing fiscal, banking and transparency reforms.

Nigeria is well positioned to become “an engine for African growth”, according to Peter Schmid, the head of Africa for emerging markets giant Actis. In an interview featured in Private Equity International’s inaugural Africa Handbook – to be published in September – he said that with increased spend on Nigerian infrastructure, the country “could overtake South Africa fairly quickly as the leading economic powerhouse on the continent”.