London, United Kingdom, 12th January 2015: Helios Investment Partners ("Helios"), a leading pan-African private investment firm, today announced it has exceeded the $1 billion target set for its third Africa-focused fund and the firm will shortly be closing the fund at its $1.1 billion hard cap. Continued strong support from existing investors, who represent over 60% of the capital committed to Helios Investors III, L.P. ("Helios III"), coupled with commitments from other leading global institutional investors, enabled Helios to raise what is the largest fund dedicated to African private equity.
The diverse investor base for Helios III includes sovereign wealth funds, corporate and public pension funds, endowments and foundations, funds of funds, family offices and development finance institutions across the US, Europe, Asia and Africa.
Africa-specific factors, including economic liberalisation, increasing technology-driven productivity, demographic dynamics and urbanisation are driving growth and creating attractive investment opportunities across the continent.
Tope Lawani, co-founder and Managing Partner of Helios Investment Partners, commented: "Much has been made of the rise of the African consumer, and that does, from time to time, give rise to potential investment opportunites. However, as discretionary incomes remain low and the cost of basic goods and services is high, Helios believes that addressing the supply side of the economy is generally more attractive. Helios’ strategy focuses on investing in businesses that lead the provision of core economic infrastructure: de-bottlenecking the economy; increasing efficiencies; and reducing living costs for households and operating costs for businesses."
In line with the investment strategy of Helios’ existing funds, Helios III will acquire and build market-leading, diversified platform companies, operating in the core economic sectors of the key African countries, with an emphasis on portfolio operations as a creator of value. Helios has made one investment through Helios III, acquiring an interest in ARM Pensions, Nigeria’s largest independent pension fund manager with over $2.2 billion of pension assets under management, and has built a robust pipeline of proprietary opportunities.
Dabney Tonelli, Investor Relations Partner of Helios Investment Partners, commented: "Achieving, and exceeding, our fundraising target for Helios III underscores the global demand for experienced, institutional, Africa-focused private equity specialists and the strength of the relationships we have built with the world’s leading private equity investors. In supporting us as they have, our investors have demonstrated confidence in our strategy and in our ability to work creatively to originate proprietary transactions and generate strong investment returns."
Since the firm’s inception, the investment team has been supported by Helios’ dedicated Portfolio Operations Group, based in Lagos and Nairobi, who work in active partnership with portfolio company management to create value within the firm’s portfolio by driving operational improvements.
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