Africa: The big beasts prowling the block

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The big, it seems, are getting bigger. The number of African funds closed in 2014 and 2015 was well down on recent highs – just nine in 2015 – but the total value raised has surpassed $7 billion over the last two years. That helped one of the biggest Africa-focused GPs UK-based Helios Investment Partners to close its third fund at $1.1 billion in 2015. Here are the 10 biggest Africa funds to close in the last two years as compiled by PEI Research & Analytics.

1 Helios Investors III
Helios Investment Partners surpassed its $1 billion target for its third fund which closed in 2015. Helios said it received “strong support from existing investors” including sovereign wealth funds, corporate and public pension funds, endowments, funds of funds, family offices and development finance institutions for what it called the “largest fund dedicated to African private equity”. Helios II closed in 2011 on its $900 million hard-cap.
Manager: Helios Investment Partners
Size: $1.1 billion

2 Equatorial Guinea Co-Investment Fund
The Equatorial Guinea government announced the formation of this $1 billion investment fund in 2014 to support foreign investment aimed at diversifying the economy beyond oil and gas. The co-investment vehicle is designed to enhance growth of tourism, financial services and other natural resources, including fishing and ranching. Finance minister Marcelino Owono Edu said that the fund would make investments with private partners in non-energy sectors where the government wanted to attract capital.
Manager: Equatorial Guinea Co-Investment Fund
Size: $1 billion

3 Abraaj Africa Fund III
The Abraaj Group closed its third sub-Saharan Africa-dedicated private equity fund on its $990 million hard-cap in April 2015, targeting mid-market companies in the consumer goods and services, consumer finance, and resource and infrastructure services sectors in Nigeria, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, South Africa and Kenya. The fundraise took around 12 months, with 64 percent of the capital from European and North American investors.
Manager: The Abraaj Group
Size: $990 million

4 African Development Partners II
Development Partners International, a pan-African firm, surpassed its $500 million target for its second fund which closed on $725 million in 2015. LPs include the International Finance Corporation and the Missouri State Employee’s Retirement System. Investments made so far include Université Privée de Marrakech, a private university, and HomeChoice, a home-shopping and credit retail business.
Manager: Development Partners International
Size: $725 million

5 Carlyle Sub-Saharan Africa Fund
The Carlyle Group closed its sub-Saharan Africa Fund on $698 million, north of its $500 million target, in April 2014. The vehicle focuses on opportunities linked to the growth of the emerging middle class across sub-Saharan Africa. Investments include J&J Africa, a pan-African logistics company which focuses on road transportation along the Beira corridor of Southwest Africa.
Manager: The Carlyle Group
Size: $698 million

6 Amethis Africa Finance
Africa-focused Amethis Finance closed its first private equity fund on $380 million, passing its original $350 million target. That comes in addition to a $150 million debt commitment from US government development finance institution OPIC. The firm targets West, Central and East Africa, typically investing $10 million per transaction, and usually takes stakes of 15-30 percent.
Manager: Amethis Finance
Size: $380 million

7 Prudential LeapFrog Africa Partnership
Prudential Financial committed $350 million to invest in life insurers in Africa, in a fund managed by LeapFrog Investments, targeting Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria, and seeking investments of up to $200 million. LeapFrog partner Stephen Bowey told PEI that the insurance market in Africa is “enormously underpenetrated” with 5-10 percent annual growth or more.
Manager: LeapFrog Investments
Size: $350 million

8 Investec Africa Credit Opportunities Fund I
Described as the “first dedicated African credit and debt capital markets fund of its kind globally”, Investec Asset Management’s first sub-Saharan debt fund lends in US dollars to support private equity sponsors, infrastructure projects and real estate project. The focus will be on both West and East Africa with Nigeria expected to make up the largest proportion of investments.
Manager: Investec Asset Management
Size: $295 million

9 Investec Africa Private Equity Fund II
Investec Asset Management’s second Africa fund closed on almost double the size of its previous vehicle and included US investors for the first time. Like its predecessor, IAPEF 2 will target north and sub-Saharan Africa, including larger markets such as Nigeria and South Africa and smaller markets such as Mozambique.
Manager: Investec Asset Management
Size: $295 million

10 Verod Capital Growth Fund II
Verod Capital, a Nigerian-based private equity fund, closed its second vehicle Verod Capital Growth Fund II earlier this year at $115 million. The strategy is to build a diverse portfolio across “fast-developing industries” including agriculture, consumer goods and financial services. Investments to date include Shaldag Limited, the largest aquaculture facility in West Africa.
Manager: Verod Capital Management
Size: $115 million