Swiss private banking group, Edmond de Rothschild has raised $530 million for its first Africa-focused fund. The fund which will focus on making Africa deals will be managed by Amethis Finance – a company majority-owned by the Edmond de Rothschild. Amethis has about 20 staff operating from Nairobi and Abidjan and has already invested in five companies including Kenya-based Chase Bank and Petro Ivoire, an Ivorian gas distributor. Edmond de Rothschild will raise dedicated funds to invest in the continent alongside U.S. based Carlyle Group LP and Dubai’s Abraaj Group.
Luc Rigouzzo, founder and managing partner at Amethis, said that the fund would target minority stakes in small to medium-sized companies. “After five years, investors will have the option to convert their stakes in the fund into shares of a company that could then float to gain permanent capital. This would allow them to keep investments over a long period, rather than having to sell them after five to six years,” he said.
Last year, the continent attracted over $2.4 billion in private equity investments and earlier this year, Carlyle Group secured about $700 million for its first sub Saharan Africa fund.