July 23, 2015 by wilsonneelynyc
Private equity investments in Africa were once almost nonexistent, but an increasing number of firms are beginning to pay attention to and take advantage of opportunities on the continent. Data collected by the African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association shows that private equity investments over the course of 2014 totaled $8.1 billion, the largest amount since 2007. In 2009, total private equity investments in Africa amounted to only $1.5 billion. Last year’s major increase was largely driven by several major deals struck by American investors.
Africa still represents a small share of all private equity investments worldwide, and emerging markets altogether accounted for about 11 percent of total investments in 2014, according to the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association. Still, many major firms have undertaken significant projects throughout the continent. The Blackstone Group, for example, is already looking for new infrastructure projects after the completion of a hydroelectric dam in Uganda. KKR invested $200 million in an Ethiopian flower business last year, and Emerging Capital Partners provided $3.15 billion in funding to a cell phone tower operator in Nigeria.