African private equity firm 8 Miles has completed a first close of its inaugural fund, with commitments of $200m.
The firm is supported by senior advisers, including industrialists, governance and industry experts, with former Boomtown Rats frontman and activist Bob Geldof taking the role of non-executive chairman.
Geldof, said, “Africa is now a continent of extraordinary business and investment opportunity. Private equity is one way to support the enterprise and dynamism of the people of the continent and help provide the jobs and skills that are needed. I’m happy that 8 Miles helps signal that Africa is seriously open for business.”
Cornerstone investors include the IFC (part of the World Bank), African Development Bank, and UK government-owned development-finance institution CDC, alongside other institutional and private investors. Asian investment group CLSA acted as sponsor to the firm.
Philip Pritchard, head of CLSA Europe, said, “The idea for 8 Miles originated at a CLSA Investors Forum where Bob Geldof addressed a global audience of asset managers on the subject of Africa and its growing economic importance. Whilst retaining its focus on Asia, CLSA is delighted to be able to support such an important initiative for the African Continent.”
With average economic growth across the continent of six per cent per annum since 2001, the fund aims to invest in across industries including agribusiness, consumer and retail, health, telecoms and business and financial services.
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