Private equity: The African promise

David Rubenstein, Co-Founder & Co-CEO, The Carlyle Group

Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein made headlines last year for suggesting Africa was poised to become the next private equity hotspot.

“The great explosion in private equity, if it is going to occur anywhere around the world in the next couple of years, is probably going to be in Africa, particularly sub-Saharan Africa, where the penetration rate is about one-twelfth or so of what it is in the United States,” he was quoted saying at a summit of US and African leaders.

Among the global alternatives firms, Carlyle was certainly among the first to plant its flag in Africa, launching a Sub-Saharan Africa fund in 2011 that closed on $698 million.

Some of its rivals, meanwhile, have also set up deal teams in the continent and have been making opportunistic investments, such as KKR’s $200 million deal last year for Ethiopian rose grower Afriflora.

Read more: Private Equity International | Friday Letter: African promise.