Bloomberg | 3 May 2011
By Michael Patterson
Vital Capital Investments LP, the private-equity firm that invests in housing and agriculture businesses in Africa, said it raised more than $250 million for its first fund.
Vital Capital Fund I will invest in African markets such as Angola, Ghana and Mozambique, Eytan Stibbe, the fund’s founding managing partner and chief investment officer, said in a phone interview today. The fund aims to raise another $250 million, which would make it among the largest in the region, according to Stibbe.
(Past agricultural projects of the management of Vital Capital include the Adama project in Angola, carried out by the LR Group of Isarael. Above: a promotional video about the project)
“Many of the African markets have been growing fast without correlation with the rest of the world,” Stibbe said. “We feel it’s the right time to invest.”
Private-equity funds in Sub-Saharan Africa raised $156 million in the first quarter, after attracting $1.5 billion in 2010, according to the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association. Developing-nation funds worldwide raised about $23 billion last year, according to EMPEA.
Buyout firms are increasingly looking to emerging markets such as Africa, India and Brazil for investments as the leveraged-buyout industry takes advantage of growing populations outside the U.S. Carlyle Group, the world’s second-biggest private equity fund, is seeking to raise about $500 million for a fund targeting Africa, two people with knowledge of the plans said in March.
Economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa will accelerate to 5.9 percent next year from 5.5 percent in 2011, according to April forecasts from the Washington-based International Monetary Fund. That compares with projected global growth of 4.5 percent next year, according to the IMF.
Vital Capital has already invested in Kora Housing, a developer of affordable housing in Angola, Africa’s second- largest producer of oil, according to Stibbe. The fund, which counts retired U.S. Army General Wesley Clark among its advisory board members, is a proponent of “impact investing,” a strategy that places capital in ventures with social or environmental goals.
To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Patterson in London at [email protected]
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gavin Serkin at [email protected]