Emerging Capital Partners, a private equity firm which invests in Africa, has held the final close of its latest fund on $613m, having hoped to raise $1bn.
ECP Africa Fund III collected $450m from anchor investors the African Development Bank, the International Financial Corporation (IFC), the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and CDC, the UK government development finance institution, as well as pan-African fund of funds manager South Suez.
The vehicle will make equity investments and “quasi-equity” investments that will include convertible debt instruments, backing companies pursuing regional strategies in the telecommunications, natural resources, financial services, agriculture, transportation and utilities sectors.
The appearance of new technologies such as mobile telephony and the emergence of a middle-class have shown that Africa is not just a region for making investments in resources, ECP said.
Also, the firm highlighted the continent’s prudence in borrowing and, due to forgiveness plans, that its external debt as a per cent of economic output has dropped.
ECP has begun deploying capital from Africa Fund III, making four investments totalling around $180m: Financial Bank, which provides banking services in six countries in Central and West Africa; Wananchi Group, the Zuku-branded pay television and high-speed internet provider in East Africa; Groupe NSIA, the West and Central Africa insurer; and the Madagascar and Cote d’Ivoire-based Thunnus Overseas Group, which provides 25 per cent of the canned tuna in the French market.
ECP Africa Fund III is the seventh fund managed by ECP and brings the firm’s total capital raised to more than $1.8bn.
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