Coors-Led Fund Joins Carlyle in African Private Equity Deals

John Coors, the great grandson of the founder of Coors Brewing Co., plans to raise $300 million from wealthy families in the U.S. and Africa for a private equity fund to invest in Africa.

The One Thousand & One Voices fund will have $50 million to $100 million by the end of the year to invest in the fastest-growing African nations, including Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania and Nigeria, Coors said in a phone interview on May 3. The fund will seek minority stakes of $10 million to $40 million and target companies with earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $2 million to $15 million.

“The foundation of this movement is the realization that we don’t need more philanthropy, we don’t need more aid” in Africa, said Coors, who is chief executive officer of CoorsTek Inc., a Colorado-based ceramics manufacturer. “We need more investment because we need to create jobs.”

Africa is attracting buyout firms, including Carlyle Group LP and Abraaj Capital Ltd., seeking higher returns than those offered in Europe and the U.S. Private-equity transactions in the region jumped by almost a fifth to 43 deals in the first nine months of last year, compared with a decline of 17 percent to 179 transactions in China, according to the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association.

The economy of Sub-Saharan Africa will probably expand 6.1 percent next year, the fastest pace of any region in the world after emerging Asia, fueled by China’s demand for gold, copper and oil, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Carlyle Deal

Carlyle, the world’s second-largest private equity firm, opened offices in Johannesburg and Lagos, Nigeria, in the past two years and was part of a group that paid $210 million for a stake in Export Trading Group, a Tanzanian commodity company, since creating its $500 million fund. Dubai-based Abraaj is the largest buyout firm in the Middle East.

Coors’s fund will also aim to raise similar amounts of money for investments in Latin America, Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe.

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