Unpacking private equity in East Africa with KPMG Kenya's Head of Restructuring and Transactions, Sheel Gill

Sheel Gill, Head of Transactions and Restructuring, KPMG Kenya

East Africa’s share of private equity transactions on the continent has been rising steadily over the past few years.

A growing number of private equity funds are opening offices and looking to invest in high growth SMEs.

Competition for deals is heating up, with a mix of locally-based and foreign funds, as well as strategic investors, such as multinationals, all looking for investment opportunities.

“The market is very competitive [because] you have three different groups looking at the same target companies,” says Sheel Gill, head of transactions and restructuring at KPMG Kenya.

“There are a lot of opportunities, but it is taking very long to close deals. A lot of times you start talking to the target company and you try to prepare them for a transaction – and that typically tends to take close to about a year to 18 months. I genuinely feel that it’s taking too long to close deals.”

Read more: Deal-making: Unpacking private equity activity in East Africa