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Ethos raises $800M fund

by Matt Miller  |  Published January 23, 2013 at 2:44 PM
private_equity_227x128.gifIn another sign of Africa's growing attraction to institutional investors, South Africa's Ethos Private Equity announced Wednesday, Jan. 23, that its newest fund raised $800 million. This represents one of the largest-ever sub-Saharan African-specific private equity funds.

Fund VI exceeded by $50 million Ethos' initial target as well as the firm's last fund, which closed in 2006.

The current fund has already begun to be invested. Last year it acquired a South African corporate clothing and promotions company called Kevro for 850 million rand ($95 million) and invested an undisclosed sum in a South African construction company, Waco International.

Ethos declined to identify individual limited partners for its newest fund, although a representative said via e-mail the geographic breakdown was fairly evenly split between Africa, Europe and North America, and Asia and the Middle East. Limited partners include sovereign wealth funds, insurance companies and pension funds, the company said.

Ethos, which was formed in 1984, is among the oldest private equity firms in Africa. Like most private equity on the continent, Ethos continues to be centered in South Africa, Africa's most developed economy and a market long accustomed to buyouts. However, some global private equity powerhouses are beginning to look at Africa more seriously and, in the process, are taking a more regional approach.

Carlyle Group, for example, in November invested in a Tanzanian commodities company called Export Trading Group, the first investment in a targeted $500 million sub-Saharan African fund.

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Tags: Carlyle Group | Ethos Private Equity | Export Trading Group | Kevro | Waco International

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