South African Private Equity Firm Ethos Raises $800 Million Fund

Ethos Private Equity Ltd., South Africa’s oldest private equity firm, raised $800 million from global investors that include corporate pension and sovereign wealth funds seeking to tap higher growth rates in Africa.

Ethos made two investments in the new Fund VI and is weighing others after exceeding its target of raising $750 million, spokeswoman Chelsea Wilkinson said today by telephone from Johannesburg. Ethos began raising cash about 18 months ago for the fund and has invested in Waco International Ltd., a building, construction and scaffolding company, and Kevro (Pty) Ltd., a clothing and gifts corporate branding company, she said.

“The fund raising market has been tough,” Andre Roux, the firm’s chief executive officer, said in a separate e-mailed statement. “Investors are constrained. They are looking beyond the developed markets for pockets of growth and have identified South Africa’s potential as a gateway into sub-Saharan Africa.”

Ethos said in January last year that it bought a 72 percent stake in Kervo for 850 million rand ($108 million). The firm hasn’t publicly disclosed the amount it paid for Waco, Wilkinson said.

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