Amethis Finance, the private investment fund dedicated to long-term responsible investments in Africa, founded in partnership between Luc Rigouzzo, Laurent Demey, and the Edmond de Rothschild Group through Compagnie Benjamin de Rothschild Conseil “CBR”, successfully reached its final close in June 2014, mobilizing USD 530 million. Amethis has been able to attract an unprecedented number of private investors for an African fund, being financial institutions but also European and US family offices.
A unique community of long-term entrepreneurs and private investors for Africa
Amethis realizes one of the biggest fundraising ever for a first-time investment fund dedicated to Africa showing increasing interest of US and European investors for the continent. Amethis’ unique shareholding structure is composed of 55 investors of which only 3 are state owned while most of the investment funds dedicated to Africa have been financed by development finance institutions (DFI) so far. Amethis has managed to bring to Africa European, US and African institutions, together with close to 40 European and US entrepreneurs and family offices.
The capacity to build a bridge between European and US private investors and successful African Entrepreneurs
Amethis has a unique shareholding structure: mixing classical institutional investors (banks, insurance companies, fund of fund,..) with successful private entrepreneurs from the manufacturing and services sectors who are investing often for the first time in Africa and are looking to know better the continent. Amethis considers its investors as potential shareholders and business partners for the companies it invests in. Amethis assists its investors in their expansion, notably through co-investments. Indeed, Amethis aims to capitalize on its network to identify and to harness strategies between its diversified investor pool and its local partners.
A business model suited for the continent’s needs and differentiated from same-sized traditional funds investing in the continent
Africa is going through a rapid and dramatic change, thanks its demographics and fast urbanization. Economic models are rapidly changing, with consumer and retail oriented companies taking advantage of those evolutions. This rapid growth is creating significant capital needs for local companies, and Amethis’ strategy is to foster long-term ties with well-established, high-growth African businesses which need long-term capital, and supporting them through a new phase of their life cycle. Amethis is helping them to develop, first in their own national space, then in their regional space.
To do so, Amethis has developed an investment strategy adapted to the African needs and specificities:
- Amethis is particularly positioned on Africa’s bottlenecks areas supporting urbanization and consumer growth: financial services, retail, agri-business, energy…
- Amethis is focused on countries with a large domestic market and a diversified economy (i.e. countries in transition).
- Amethis is one of the only player to provide its clients with traditional equity and flexible long-term debt, a mix adapted to its clients' needs.
- Amethis only takes minority stakes, which is well suited for family-owned businesses.
- Finally, Amethis is characterized by its long-term horizon.
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A quick start with already five investments completed so far
A year and a half after its first closing, Amethis has already made 5 investments, in fast perfoming companies in Kenya, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Mauritius, in banking, oil and gas retail distribution and logistics. Amethis is supporting the rapid changes in the African retail banking industry, pushed by innovative local banks creating new marketing and distribution models. It has already partnered with the two fastest growing banks in Kenya and Ghana, respectively Chase Bank and Fidelity Bank, who are transforming their respective banking industries. It is supporting in Cote d’Ivoire the quick rise in gas consumption, investing in the local champion, Petroivoire. In the Indian Ocean, it backs the rise of Mauritius as the regional logistics hub through the regional leader, Velogic.
A fruitful partnership with Compagnie Benjamin de Rothschild Conseil
The fruitful alliance with CBR is grounded on the proven know-how of Amethis Finance founders in sustainable development in Africa and the credibility of the Edmond the Rothschild Group. Amethis founders are a team of bankers and Private Equity investors, specialized in Africa and the Mediterranean, who have devoted their careers to private equity and long-term lending on the African continent. They share the same long-term investment vision as the Rothschild family which have granted to CBR a mission to promote innovative investment schemes in partnerships with highly recognized investment professionals. Over the last ten years CBR has developed a recognized environmental and social expertise, notably with its investment funds platform, covering traditional strategies and focusing on Impact Finance, Environment and Infrastructure, in developed markets and frontier markets.
Luc Rigouzzo, Managing Partner at Amethis comments: “The success of this fundraising, demonstrates the appetite of private European and US entrepreneurs and family offices to invest in Africa, the next world frontier for growth, and their conviction that our patient and responsible business model is well adapted to the needs of the continent.”
Laurent Demey, Managing Partner at Amethis, adds “African entrepreneurs are shaping Africa’s future at a key moment in the continent history. Amethis role and objective is to support them in all possible ways: money, of course, but also value addition, international network and recognition through our very specific business model and shareholder base.”
Johnny El Hachem, Chief Executive Officer of Compagnie Benjamin de Rothschild Conseil adds: “We were convinced that Amethis was the right team for this partnership, with whom we share the same vision of long-term responsible investment in Africa. It is at the core of the Edmond de Rothschild Group to partner with talented professionals on ambitious and innovative projects. Through our private equity platform we are able to connect families, institutions and entrepreneurs in their development. We dedicated our energy and shared values to structure an innovative vehicle in order to have a perfect alignment of interest between stakeholders, investors, families and entrepreneurs across both sides of the world, with the aim of creating social, environmental and above all economical return.”
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Source: Amethis Finance.