Carlyle expands franchise to Africa

Among other sectors, the private equity firm's new Sub-Saharan investment group will cover infrastructure and will be led by StanChart’s former head of African private equity, Marlon Chigwende, and former Ethos partner Danie Jordaan.

The Carlyle Group continued its expansion into emerging markets with the launch of a Sub-Saharan investment group whose investment mandate will include infrastructure, the private equity firm said in a statement.

Earlier this month it planted its flag in Peru via a partnership with financial services heavyweight Credicorp.

Carlyle’s new Sub-Saharan Africa team will be co-headed by Marlon Chigwende, formerly Standard Chartered Bank’s African private equity chief, and Danie Jordaan, who was previously a partner and executive committee member of Africa-focused Ethos Private Equity.

The two will be based in Johannesburg, while a third colleague – Genevieve Sangudi, who established Emerging Capital Partners' Nigeria operations – will be based at an office in Lagos.

The team will invest in both public and private companies, initially in infrastructure and energy, consumer goods, financial services and agriculture sectors of Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

“As SSA gains from political and economic reforms, demand for basic services and infrastructure is dramatically increasing,” Jordaan said in a statement. “The entrance of a global player like Carlyle into SSA is a testament to the region’s progress and prospects.”

Carlyle’s business model tends towards raising region- or country-specific funds, so it’s expected the firm will raise a dedicated vehicle to invest in Sub-Saharan opportunities. The smallest funds it raises tend to aim for the $500 million mark. A Carlyle spokesperson declined to comment on fundraising plans, citing SEC restrictions.

As SSA gains from political and economic reforms, demand for basic services and infrastructure is dramatically increasing.

Danie Jordaan

Asked how the new group would fund deals without a dedicated fund, the spokesman said most of the firm’s funds had the flexibility to invest a portion of their capital, usually up to 20 percent, in regions outside their principal geographic mandate.

Carlyle already has a dedicated infrastructure-only fund, the $1.1 billion Carlyle Infrastructure Partners, whose mandate covers North America, with a principal focus on the United States. However, that fund has flexibility to invest up to 30 percent of its capital in other regions, the spokesman previously told InfrastructureInvestor.

Carlyle noted that since it began investing in Asia in 1999, it has deployed $6.4 billion in equity in emerging markets and has $16.6 billion in emerging markets-related assets under management. It has 160 professionals across 12 offices now in nine emerging market countries.