Private equity funds are expected to play an increasing role in investments flows into Africa in the next 12 months as they seek new growth opportunities outside the depressed markets of developed countries, according to Standard Bank's Brian Marshall, Director: Diversified Lending and Leverage. Marshall says an increasing number of private equity firms are raising capital to invest in sub-Saharan Africa investment strategies and scouting for deal opportunities.
Although funds available to invest in Africa are still relatively small when compared to global funds and other emerging markets, an increase will be good for Africa as it will provide local firms with much needed capital. According to EMPEA, an industry body, funds raised for sub-Saharan Private Equity strategies totaled US$1,499 million in 2010 up 55% from the US$964m raised in 2009. The EMPEA study shows that Emerging Markets and sub-Saharan Africa in particular, are claiming an increasing share of private equity funding raised globally.
Marshall cites global private equity firm Carlyle's announcement earlier this year of the launch of its sub Saharan Africa Fund and the recent acquisition by CVC of a controlling stake in Virgin Active as an indication of the interest by large international private equity funds in the region.
Carlyle, which has about $17-billion worth of assets under its management in emerging markets, more than $106bln globally, and who is actively looking for assets in Africa, said the sub Saharan Fund will be managed from Johannesburg and Lagos. The group has established a team to conduct buyout and growth capital investments in Sub-Saharan Africa. Furthermore Helios Investment Partners, a leading Pan African fund, recently announced the closing of their 2nd successful fund which raised a total of US$ 900 million in commitments from investors.
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