Oppenheimer family and Temasek SWF launch African private equity fund

Reuters reported recently that South Africa’s E. Oppenheimer family and Singapore’s sovereign fund Temasek Holdings have set up a $300 million private equity fund called Tana Africa Capital to invest primarily in consumer goods and agricultural sectors across Africa. The fund will target Africa’s growing young population and also focus on agricultural production and processing of farm produce and, to a lesser extent media, education and healthcare. The prime target will be the bigger economies, but it will not avoid smaller economies.

James Teeger, group managing director at E Oppenheimer & Son, told Reuters: “The initial capital commitment is $300 million, so 150 from each partner. We felt that was an appropriate amount to help the team make 5 to 6 investments over the next few years.” He would not say when Tana Africa hoped to close its first investment but he said the fund has a strong deal pipeline.

Reuters reports that Africa is increasingly attracting interest in investment, focusing on its abundant resources, fast-growing population and rising personal incomes. Reuters said Siemens AG said last year it aimed to invest $254 m in Africa by 2012. Global private equity group Carlyle, based in Washington D.C., said in March it was entering sub-Saharan Africa, targeting investments in consumer goods, financial services, agriculture and infrastructure.

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