London-based PE Firm Actis Raises $500M In Third Africa Fund

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Written by Kevin Mwanza

London-based private equity firm Actis has raised $500 million for its third Africa real estate fund that will be invested predominantly in prime retail, office and industrial developments in capital cities of seven to eight countries on the continent.

Actis focuses on emerging markets has invested more than $3 billion in African businesses spread over 23 countries, more than $570 million of which is invested in the financial services sector.

The firm had targeted to raise $400 million in the Africa Real Estate Fund 3 (ARE3) but managed to get an extra $100 million from institutional investors interested in the offer, it said in a statement.

“This successful fundraising is a further sign of confidence from our investors in our ability to identify the most compelling opportunities across Africa. With this new vehicle, they will satisfy part of the demand for institutional quality real estate in some of the fastest growing cities globally,” David Morley, the fundraising lead for the ARE3 at Actis.

Pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, development finance institutions and endowments from Africa, Asia, Europe and North America backed the fund.

Actis’ previous Africa-focused fund that closed in 2012 raised $278 million.

The company has had a number of exits in the East African market where it exited two power sector investments in Kenya and Uganda in the last two years, Business Daily reported.

The PE firm sold its 30 percent stake in Globeleq Africa in September 2015, the energy company that owns the 75 megawatt in a Kenyan-based thermal power Tsavo Power, to CDC and Norwegian development financier Norfund for $227 million.

In June 2014, it sold shareholding in Ugandan power utility Umeme to institutional and retail investors, reducing its stake to 14.3 per cent from 60.08 per cent.

In November, Actis acquired a majority stake in Nigerian fund manager Sigma Pensions for $62 million as it looked to capitalize on what it sees as a growth industry in Africa, Reuters reported.