Helios Investment Partners raises US$1bn African investment fund


Pan-African private investment firm Helios Investment Partners has raised over US$1 billion for a third Africa-focused fund, with the firm claiming the fund is the largest in existence dedicated to African private equity.

Helios said it will soon close the fund on reaching its US$1.1 billion hard cap, having exceeded the US$1 billion target – 60 per cent of the fund contributed by existing investors.

Investors include sovereign wealth funds, corporate and public pension funds, endowments and foundations, funds of funds, family offices and development finance institutions from the US, Europe, Asia and Africa, Helios said.

The firm said investments will focus on value-creating businesses focusing on core economic areas, is key African countries.

“Achieving, and exceeding, our fundraising target for Helios III underscores the global demand for experienced, institutional, Africa-focused private equity specialists […],” said Dabney Tonelli, investor relations partner at Helios.

“In supporting us as they have, our investors have demonstrated confidence in our strategy and in our ability to work creatively to originate proprietary transactions and generate strong investment returns.”

Helios said investments will focus on value-creating companies operating in core economic sectors across various key African countries.

Helios has historically invested in technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) companies such as the Wananchi Group, and Mall for Africa, with the firm telling Disrupt Africa TMT opportunities will remain a core focus for the new fund.

“Much has been made of the rise of the African consumer, and that does, from time to time, give rise to potential investment opportunities. However, as discretionary incomes remain low and the cost of basic goods and services is high, Helios believes that addressing the supply side of the economy is generally more attractive,” said Tope Lawani, co-founder and managing partner of Helios.

“Helios’ strategy focuses on investing in businesses that lead the provision of core economic infrastructure: de-bottlenecking the economy; increasing efficiencies; and reducing living costs for households and operating costs for businesses,” Lawani said.

One investment has already been made through the Helios III fund, acquiring an interest in ARM Pensions – Nigeria’s largest independent pension fund manager with over $2.2 billion of pension assets under management.



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Inspired and excited by the African tech entrepreneurial scene, Gabriella spends her time travelling around the continent to report on the most innovative tech startups, the most active investors, and the latest trends emerging in the ecosystem.

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