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13.04.2015 Africa

The Abraaj Group Closes Third Sub-Saharan Africa Fund At US$ 990 million

By Grace Chaoui
The Abraaj Group Closes Third Sub-Saharan Africa Fund At US$ 990 million
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· Dedicated African private equity fund to focus on growth investments in sub-Saharan businesses supporting the rapidly growing urban consumer class

· Seasoned team of locally-based investment professionals will identify well-managed partner companies with strong regional growth potential

Dubai, UAE, 13 April 2015: The Abraaj Group (“Abraaj” or “The Group”), a leading investor operating in global growth markets, today announced the final close of its third dedicated Sub-Saharan Africa private equity fund at US$ 990 million.

Abraaj Africa Fund III (“AAF III” or the “Fund”) received support from a diverse range of global institutional investors, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds and development finance institutions. 64% of the capital committed to the Fund has come from European and North American investors, with institutional investors, pension funds and sovereign wealth funds accounting for 76% of the committed capital. Leading African institutions also subscribed for significant allocations to AAF III, further demonstrating the attractiveness and maturity of the growing private equity opportunity in Africa.

Commenting on the Fund closing, Arif Naqvi, Founder and Group Chief Executive of The Abraaj Group, said: “The strong demand for this new fund reflects increasing investor appreciation for the powerful growth story unfolding across Africa. It is a story driven by rapid urbanization and favourable demographics that are fuelling consumption across multiple sectors from an expanding, young middle class.”

“Abraaj’s longstanding presence on the ground, with seasoned local investment teams in four key Sub-Saharan cities, coupled with our deep global experience of value creation in growth markets, puts us in a unique position to identify high-potential partner companies that can become regional champions in their industries.”

AAF III will focus on well-managed, mid-market leaders in sectors most likely to benefit from demand driven by the rapid expansion of a young, urban, middle class across Sub-Saharan Africa. These sectors include consumer goods and services, consumer finance, and resource and infrastructure services in the core geographies of Nigeria, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, South Africa and Kenya.

By partnering with companies with the capability to create value through a combination of organic expansion, add-on acquisitions, strategic repositioning and consolidation strategies, the Fund will help local African businesses to become regional champions. Abraaj’s network of offices and experience with executing successful regional growth plans for several of its African portfolio businesses provides it with the ideal platform to execute these strategies.

AAF III has made a significant cornerstone investment in Liberty Star Consumer Holdings (“Libstar”), one of the leading food and personal care manufacturers in South Africa, with the acquisition of a majority stake.

Abraaj has helped pioneer the growth and development of the private equity industry in Africa with more than a decade of investing experience and deploying c.US$ 3 billion across the continent. In Sub-Saharan Africa alone, Abraaj has made 67 investments in nine sectors and successfully achieved 30 full and partial exits from these investments. Abraaj has one of the largest investment teams in Sub-Saharan Africa with 27 investment and operating professionals based across four offices throughout the continent in Nairobi, Lagos, Accra and Johannesburg.

The Abraaj Group (“Abraaj” or “the Group”) is a leading private equity investor, purpose-built for operating in the growth markets of Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Turkey.

Employing over 300 people, Abraaj has over 25 offices spread across five regions with hubs in Dubai, Istanbul, Mexico City, Nairobi and Singapore. The Group currently manages c. US$ 9 billion across regional, sector and country-specific Funds.

Abraaj has realized c. US$ 5.1 billion from over 70 full and partial exits, and Funds managed by the Group have made over 140 investments across 10 sectors including consumer, energy, financials, healthcare and utilities. The Group is committed to the highest environmental, stakeholder engagement and corporate governance standards and is a signatory to the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment and the United Nations Global Compact. Abraaj’s founder, Arif Naqvi, was appointed to the United Nations Global Compact Board by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2012 and to the Interpol Foundation Board in 2014.

This publication is issued by Abraaj Capital Limited (“ACLD” or the “Firm”), a member of The Abraaj Group that is authorised and regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (“DFSA”). Several Group members are regulated by a number of international regulatory authorities including the DFSA under whose rules ACLD has issued this publication.

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