Helios Raises US$1.1bn for Africa Investments

Helios Investment Partners said that it has closed its third and largest private equity (PE) fund for African investments to new contributions after its US$1bn target.

The fund has attracted a total of US$1.1bn and its investors in include sovereign wealth funds, corporate and public pension funds, endowments and foundations, and development finance institutions across the US, Europe, Asia and Africa.

In an emailed statement, London-based Helios commented: “Africa-specific factors, including economic liberalisation, increasing technology-driven productivity, demographic dynamics and urbanisation are driving growth and creating attractive investment opportunities.”

The investment firm has stakes in companies active in industries including oil and gas, on-line retail and micro lending.

According to business daily the
Financial Times
, Africa still attracts a tiny proportion of the world’s private equity money, even compared with other emerging regions, notably Asia and Latin America. However, more recently interest has increased in response to strong economic growth.

The paper noted that Helios also held the previous record for the biggest PE fund in Africa, which it raised in 2011, at US$908m. In June 2014, Edmond de Rothschild amassed US$530m for its first buyout fund focused on deals in the continent.

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