Marlon Chigwende (L), former Managing Director, Sub-Saharan Africa at Carlyle; Kayode Akinola (R), Director, Africa at KKR. Credit: LinkedIn
The former regional heads for Africa at private equity giants KKR and Carlyle are setting up an investment firm, Arkana Partners, to target local equity investments of up to $100 million.
Kayode Akinola said on Wednesday that he was leaving KKR to join forces with Marlon Chigwende, who left his role as Africa chief at rival Carlyle in 2016.
“We will be focused on the mid-cap, where we believe the bulk of opportunities are,” Akinola said, adding that while the emphasis will be on private equity investments the new firm will be flexible in its approach.
“You need to bring your entire tool bag to the market. (In Africa) you can’t just say you’re only going to do buy-outs or just greenfield,” he said, referring to developing projects, often in infrastructure, from scratch.
The new firm will look for ventures which are ready to absorb up to $100 million but will mostly focus on opportunities requiring between $20 and $60 million of equity, Akinola said, highlighting that what counts as “mid-cap” can vary widely in different African economies.
It remained unclear when fundraising for the new venture would take place or how much the firm aimed to raise.
KKR, a global investment firm with more than $131 billion in assets under management, invests in Africa with its European private equity fund and targets at least $125 million in equity but more typically between $200 and $250 million, according to sources close to the firm.
Akinola joined KKR in 2013 amid growing hopes for the region to lead and develop the firm’s African efforts from Africa-focused Helios Investment Partners. Since then KKR has managed one investment in Africa, putting $200 million into Afriflora, a flower company in Ethiopia. Akinola remains on its board.
KKR will continue to examine deals in the region on a selective basis, the sources said.
Akinola, a Nigerian, and Chigwende who is originally from Zimbabwe, are setting up their firm as Sub-Saharan Africa’s two biggest economies face significant political and economic headwinds.
Nigeria‘s economic recession deepened in the third quarter of last year as production of oil, its main export, fell.
Meanwhile South Africa‘s economy barely grew in the same quarter as the manufacturing sector contracted sharply and investors worry whether the government can implement policies to boost growth.
Akinola remains unperturbed by any macroeconomic fears over Africa, where the U.N. says more than half of the world’s population growth between now and 2050 is projected to take place.
“The thing about emerging markets is that sometimes you have to be countercyclical. Africa continues to be a market where structural demand across most sectors will drive long term growth.”
Source: Breaking News, Business News, Financial and Investing News & More | Reuters.co.uk
- Private equity: The African promise
- 21 Nigerian tech CEOs at the top of their game
- Africa’s best-performing hedge fund launches food-focused private equity fund
- Bright Africa 2016 – Private Equity: RisCura (Report)
- EXEO Capital’s agribusiness Agri-Vie Fund II attracts over $100M in first close
- 3 reasons things are looking up for African economies: McKinsey & World Economic Forum
- Private equity firm TA Associates announces minority investment in Interswitch
- President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (“GEJ”) of Nigeria is clueless, incompetent, and callous: 35 reasons why this is a big lie
- Carlyle Group and TPG Capital make $100M bid for Kenyan coffee chain Java House
- Compelling investment markets in Africa – Inside Riscura’s Bright Africa 2015 Report: Debbie O’Hanlon, Senior Analyst, RisCura (Infographics)
- Private equity firm TPG Growth appoints Harvard-trained Yemi Lalude as Managing Partner of TPG Africa
- Venture capital funding for African tech startups is really taking off – here’s why
- Africa had record levels of private equity exits in 2015: AVCA & EY
- Shop Africa 2016 (Report & Infographics): Knight Frank
- PE house Mediterrania reveals €250m target for third Africa fund
- Here are seven of Africa’s largest infrastructure projects currently under construction (Photos)
- Barclays Africa ‘divorce settlement’ is not a sale deal: Maria Ramos, CEO, Barclays Africa
- Top 10 Tech CEOs In Nigeria
- Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association taps Tanya van Lill as new CEO
- Why you should take chances: Marek Zmyslowski, Managing Director of top African hotel booking website Jovago (Video)
- CDC invests €50M in Africa Internet Group
- Olusegun Obasanjo: My African utopia
- There is much to like in Nigeria, says RenCap’s Chief Economist Charles Robertson
- Real GDP Growth Rates (2007 – 2017) of Countries in Africa (Interactive Map & Chart)
- Nigeria’s Buhari asks head of country’s largest private equity firm to join cabinet
- Ethiopia: Africa’s fastest growing economy plans to issue first US dollar sovereign bond
- Private equity in Africa steps up a gear in 2016: African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (AVCA)
- Arise BV acquires 28% stake in Ghana’s CAL Bank as DPI successfully exits
- Five private equity funds targeting real estate investments in Nigeria (Photos)
- Here are 4 ways for American investors to invest in Africa right now
- African M&A deal volume at a seven year high, says Mergermarket
- African tech startups raise record-breaking $370M in 2016: Partech Ventures (Infographic)
- Here are 7 predictions for the African tech startup space in 2017
- Investment in Africa’s tech start-ups on the rise
- African Capital Markets Watch 2015 (Report & Infographic): PwC
- Vodafone slams proposed split of Kenya’s M-PESA as ‘ridiculous’
- Across Africa, 3 in 4 countries improve business environment (Infographic)
- The scramble for Kenya’s growing middle class: Blitz of mall developments hits Nairobi (Photos)
- Egypt, Algeria and Nigeria are the top 3 mortgage growth markets in 2017: Euromonitor
- Quintin Primo’s Capri Africa raising up to $300M for Africa real estate investment fund