Rohatyn buys South African private equity major Ethos


One of Africa’s biggest private equity firms is being bought by The Rohatyn Group to create a combined firm with almost $8bn of assets under management.

Ethos Private Equity has made more than 150 investments in South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa since it was founded in 1984. The firm raised ZAR2bn ($115m) for its seventh flagship fund, which was launched in 2018.

Rohatyn’s buyout comes just a couple of week after Ethos spun out its mid-market arm to create a new firm called Infinite Partners.

Infinite will continue to manage Ethos’ Mid Market Fund I, which closed on ZAR2.5bn in 2018. Ethos owns 25% of Infinite Partners.

Rohatyn Group founder and CEO Nicolas Rohatyn said, “The philosophical and cultural similarities of TRG and Ethos were apparent from the start.

“We share a belief that multiple thematic cross currents — such as private credit, renewable energy, digitalization, and agriculture, among others — will anchor future investment priorities for investors.

“Our combined firm, with almost $8bn in AUM, almost 400 institutional LPs, and the ability to offer solutions for de novo investing, as well as ongoing GP consolidations and fund restructurings, will occupy a unique position in our industry.”

Ethos CEO Stuart MacKenzie added, “Today’s announcement is the start of an exciting new chapter for Ethos and the culmination of the strategic transformation we started in 2016.

“Since then, we have successfully diversified our product offering, geographic footprint and sources of capital.

“This transaction represents a compelling opportunity for us to pursue the next growth phase as the African arm of TRG, one of the largest alternative asset management firms in emerging markets.”

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