BTG Pactual Seeks $1 Billion for Africa Private Equity Fund

Banco BTG Pactual, which last week held the biggest initial public offering for an investment bank in two years, started a private equity fund today to invest $1 billion in Africa.

BTG plans to gather the $1 billion in six to 12 months, mainly from Brazilian investors, to create the biggest Africa-focused private equity fund, Andre Esteves, BTG’s chief executive officer, told reporters in Rio de Janeiro today. Farming, energy and infrastructure are natural options for investments in Africa “but we are open to everything,” Esteves said.

BTG, which held a 3.66 billion reais ($1.93 billion) IPO on April 24, is seeking to invest in Africa as Brazilian companies expand in the continent. Vale SA, the world’s largest iron-ore producer, state-owned oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA and railway operator All America Latina Logistica SA are among the Brazilian companies that operate in Africa.

“Brazil needs to get closer to Africa,” Luciano Coutinho, president of Brazil’s development bank, said at an event in Rio de Janeiro where Esteves made the announcement. “Andre took the first step,” Coutinho said.

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