The Aureos Africa Fund, which closed its fundraising in January with US$381 million, has completed a $10 mln investment in a leading Nigerian leasing company, C&I Leasing Plc. (www.c-ileasing.com). The fund is believed to be the largest fund ever to focus on investing in small to mid-sized businesses across Africa, and the latest investment brings its total investment in Nigeria to $40 mln.
Aureos Capital Ltd (www.aureos.com), a leading private equity fund management company specialising in investing in small to medium-sized businesses in emerging markets, manages the fund. Jacob Kholi, Managing Partner of Aureos in West Africa, comments in a press release: “Leasing is a fast-growing part of the financial services sector in Africa and we are delighted to have invested in a market-leading business that has ambitious expansion plans.”
C&I was established in 1990 and offers companies both operating and finance leases on various classes of assets. The company is active in other services such as car rental, car distribution and other logistics services. In 2007, C&I acquired a Ghanaian lease provider as part of its regional expansion strategy and is also exploring growth opportunities in the telecommunications, oil and gas, and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sectors.
Davinder Sikand, Regional Managing Partner of Aureos in Africa, adds: “As with many other emerging markets, African economies have grown steadily throughout the global downturn. Nigeria is the second-largest economy in Africa after South Africa and with GDP increasing at over 5% per annum, Nigeria offers serious opportunities for private equity investment in SMEs with regional growth ambitions.”
“The success of Aureos in the region reflects its excellent deal sourcing capacity by having seasoned teams on the ground, and the ability to build a well diversified portfolio.”
Kholi says: “Whereas the Nigerian stock markets fell by more than 40% over the last two years, Aureos’ first generation fund’s portfolio in Nigeria grew by approximately 19% in value over that same period. We are excited to be forging strong relationships with small and mid-cap Nigerian businesses, and for Aureos Africa Fund to be able to capitalise on the strong track record we have built with our first generation Aureos West Africa Fund.”
“This new investment… is a demonstration of our commitment to West Africa, with the majority of our Nigerian companies having expanded their revenue base throughout the region.”
Aureos Capital is a private equity fund management company which specialises in providing expansion and buy-out capital to unlisted mid-cap businesses across Asia, Africa and Latin America. Since establishment in 2001, Aureos has increased its funds under management to over $1.2 billion and extended its geographical footprint to over 50 emerging markets, by establishing 16 regional private equity funds.