Adenia Partners closes $470 million African-focused fund, eyes controlling stake

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The news: 

  • Adenia Partners Ltd., a private equity firm focused on African opportunities, has announced closing its fifth and largest Africa-focused fund to date, Adenia Africa Fund, for $470 million.
  • The fund will invest in several industries across the continent, including fintech, telecom, and healthcare.
  • The fund attracted investment from old and new investors, such as Norfund AS, the US International Development Finance Corp., and Canada’s Findev Inc.

The Adenia Fund also includes the Public Investment Corp. Ltd., an Africa-based fund manager that manages approximately $138 billion (R2.6 trillion) in South African government-employee pension assets, as well as Ghanaian and Kenyan pension funds.

In a recent interview, Christophe Scalbert, Head of Investor Relations at Adenia Partners, revealed that the private equity firm had already exceeded its initial $400 million target for its fifth African-focused investment fund.

Long-term investors, including the European Investment Bank and the World Bank”s International Finance Corp., doubled their commitments when the fund launched in January 2023, contributing $300 million. The early investment allowed the firm to meet 75% of its initial fundraising goal. 

Alexis Caude, Managing Director at Adenia, noted that the firm has increased the equity cheque size for targets to an average of about $40 million.

Caude explained that Adenia will only invest in businesses where it can acquire a controlling stake ranging from 51% to 100%, allowing the firm to “be in the driver’s seat.”

“Africa-focused private equity managers need to provide investors with returns and exit options. Adenia seeks net returns of at least 15% in hard currency and takes a controlling stake in businesses to be able to dictate exit timing,” said Caude.  

Adenia has been operating in Africa for over two decades. Founded in 2002, the Mauritius-headquartered company says it operates in seven African countries with 21 investment professionals. 

The managing directors confirmed that the firm has expanded its presence to Nigeria, where it recently opened an office, to tap into the rapidly growing economy albeit a challenging investment environment. 

Currently, the fund is working closely with Air Liquide SA on a deal involving 12 African operations. Adenia faces competition from companies such as Alterra Capital Partners Ltd. and Helios Investment Partners LLP.

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