The private equity market in sub-Saharan Africa is bubbling with optimism, following a promising performance over the past six months. The positive trend has been reported not only in Africa but also in the rest of the world. Industry players are confident of this momentum being maintained by the funds, to deliver a much better show than last year.
Since the beginning of the year, investments into the funds have recorded a 55 per cent growth, raising $11 billion compared with the $9 billion recorded during the same period last year, according to the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association (EMPEA).
The growth was not only in the number of deals sealed, but also in the size of the transactions made. A total 402 deals have been made this year, 44 per cent more than last year, whereas the average deal size has leaped from $40m to $51m.
In sub-Saharan Africa alone, about $1 billion has been invested, bringing the total investment so far to $1.9 billion.
Macquarie Capital Funds, which manages the African Infrastructure Investment Fund, raised the highest amount of funds, at $320 million.
This gave the region, together with Latin America, a significant portion of the overall increase in capital raised, though lesser than Asian funds which accounted for over half of the raised investment.
Globally, China remains the leading destination for new capital.
Funds dedicated to the country take up two thirds of 46 Asian funds that raised capital through mid-year, 60 per cent of the total capital raised for Asia, and one third of the total capital raised for emerging markets during that period.
The president and CEO of EMPEA, Sarah Alexander, says that out of the 10 funds that were closed through mid-year in sub-Saharan Africa, only three were country-dedicated, two for South Africa and one for Angola.
The rest were focused on regional strategies, mostly with footprints spanning a number of markets.
Though most of the funds have a general strategy and are not sector specific, Ms Alexander adds, the focus sectors will be energy and natural resources, financial services, and consumer goods and services.