March 24, 2011 / 7:46 AM / in 8 years

UPDATE 2-Carlyle fund eyes more buyout deals in Africa

* Targets financial services, infrastructure, energy

* To seek buyouts, invest in capital growth ventures

* Expects to raise fund for sub-Saharan Africa - source (Updates with amount Carlyle is targeting for Africa, previous MENA fund, adds NEW YORK dateline)

JOHANNESBURG/NEW YORK, March 24 (Reuters) - Global private equity firm Carlyle Group [CYL.UL] plans to open offices in Johannesburg and Lagos and start investing in capital growth ventures and buyouts in the fast-growing region.

Washington D.C.-based Carlyle, which has $16.6 billion of assets under management in emerging markets, said it would begin with investments in the consumer goods, financial services, agriculture, infrastructure and energy sectors.

Carlyle plans to start fundraising for a fund to invest in sub-Saharan Africa and is targeting about $500 million, said a source familiar with the planning.

The firm finished raising a Middle East and North Africa fund of $500 million in 2009.

“The entrance of a global player like Carlyle into sub-Saharan Africa is a testament to the region’s progress and prospects and will attract more capital and talent to the region,” Danie Jordaan, Carlyle’s sub-Saharan Africa co-head, said in a statement.

“We also believe Carlyle’s global network will facilitate the growth of its sub-Saharan Africa investments in the major international markets.”

Helped by a 2002-2008 commodities boom, sub-Saharan Africa has enjoyed nearly a decade of robust growth, accompanied by relative political stability and deepening capital markets.

The International Monetary Fund sees economic growth of 5.5 percent for the region this year, one of the world’s fastest rates.

Carlyle, which has $97.7 billion in assets globally, said it was attracted by Africa’s favourable demographics, its expanding domestic industries and improving politics.

Jordan is a former partner at Johannesburg-based Ethos Private Equity. His co-head is Marlon Chigwende, former managing director and head of private equity Africa for Standard Chartered Bank. (Reporting by Gugulakhe Lourie and Megan Davies; Editing by Ed Cropley and John Wallace)

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