Buyout Firm Abraaj Raises Almost $1 Billion African Fund

The Abraaj Group, a Dubai-based private equity company managing about $9 billion across emerging markets, raised $990 million for its third Sub-saharan Africa fund as it seeks to benefit from the region’s economic growth.

About 64 percent of the capital committed to the Abraaj Africa Fund III came from Europe and North America, with institutional investors, pension funds and sovereign wealth funds pledging 76 percent, the firm said Monday in an e-mailed statement. The fund will focus on mid-market companies including in consumer goods, services and finance in the core countries of Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, South Africa and Kenya.

Demand for the fund “reflects increasing investor appreciation for the powerful growth story unfolding across Africa,” Arif Naqvi, Abraaj founder and chief executive officer, said in the statement. “It is a story driven by rapid urbanization and favorable demographics that are fueling consumption across multiple sectors from an expanding, young middle class.”

Abraaj has invested about $3 billion in Africa over more than a decade, it said in the statement. It has made 67 investments in Sub-Saharan Africa in nine sectors over that period and achieved 30 full and partial exits.

The firm has 27 investment and operating professionals based across its four offices in Nairobi, Lagos, Accra and Johannesburg.

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