Egypt-based private equity fund Citadel Capital (www.citadelcapital.com) is to open an East African office in Nairobi during January. Citadel says it is independently ranked as Africa’s largest private equity firm, with US$ 8.3 billion in investments under control in 15 industries spanning 12 countries.
Citadel Capital listed for trading on the Egypt Stock Exchange (EGX) under the ticker CCAP.CA from Sunday 6 December 2009. Citadel Capital’s Chairman and Founder Ahmed Heikal said in a press release was not because management were selling, but in order to make it easier for Citadel to raise capital.
The fund plans to invest a further US$ 200-400 million over the coming two years in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, The fund is looking for investments in the region, including in agriculture, transport, mining, energy and financial services, including microfinance.
Mr Heikal says the move comes in the wake of investments in Sudan. To date, Citadel Capital’s investments in Sudan cover transport and logistics, financial services, cement, mining, agriculture, and oil and gas. “By the end of 2010, we will have invested more than US$ 900 million in that nation,” Heikal notes.
Citadel’s track record is of creating value across its investment footprint by transforming national leaders into regional powerhouses through smart deployment of capital and by attracting world-class management teams that have the know-how and experience to efficiently run day-to-day operations. These teams have the ability to help refine and execute the forward-looking strategies necessary to develop new business opportunities.
“Citadel Capital is uniquely positioned to apply the industry development model we honed in North African economies to markets in Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia,” said Heikal. “East Africa’s appealing natural competitive advantages — including fast-growing consumer markets and large workforces — fit perfectly with our time-proven strategy of turning national players into regional champions.”
The firm’s expansion into East Africa will extend its business model into one of the world’s most fertile and unexplored investment environments.
It has already invested into ASCOM for Geology & Mining, the firm’s platform investment in the regional geological and mining services sector. This has established two joint ventures in Ethiopia and has been engaged in gold and other metal-exploration activities.
The African Development Bank (www.afdb.org) has invested in the Citadel Capital Joint Investment Fund, in support of its regional integration strategy. Attractions for the AfDB reportedly include success in job creation and poverty reduction, as well as the active role that managers take in the investee companies, which brings better governance, skills transfer, standardized processes, more competitiveness and better efficiency.
Citadel Capital fund managers have reportedly returned more than US$ 2.4 billion in cash to their co-investors.