November 18, 2017

KKR to invest in Africa

KKR to invest in Africa

KKR & Co. (KKR), the private equity firm started by Henry Kravis and George Roberts, is hiring a dealmaker to look for investments in Africa as it tries to tap the region’s growth, said two people with knowledge of the plan.

KKR’s team in Europe, run by Johannes Huth, plans to add the executive in London after reviewing the region’s potential, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans are at an early stage. The New York-based firm would use its existing funds to finance investments in Africa and isn’t planning to raise a dedicated pool for the region at this point, one of the people said.

KKR follows Carlyle Group LP (CG) in turning to Africa as global buyout firms seek to diversify away from western economies to achieve higher returns. A so-called frontier market because it is perceived as riskier than more mature emerging economies such as China or Brazil, Africa is appealing to investors partly because of its steady economic growth over the past five years, its 1 billion inhabitants and growing middle class.

“That Carlyle or KKR are looking at Africa is a good sign, because it shows that investors’ appetite is growing,” said Mark Richards, Head of Financial Servicesat London-based Actis LLP, which has about $1 billion allocated for the region. “African private equity is going to deepen, the market is going to grow, and not everyone is going to succeed.”English: Henry R. Kravis, Founding Partner, Ko...

Carlyle, the world’s second largest private-equity fund manager, is seeking about $500 million for its first fund targeting sub-Saharan Africa, two people with knowledge of the plans said last year. The buyout firm opened offices in South Africa and Nigeria.

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