Investec wins $670m African debt fund mandate

The London-headquartered asset manager has been chosen to manage the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund 14 years after its creation.

Investec Asset Management has been appointed to manage the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), a public-private partnership anchored by the UK, Dutch, Swedish and Swiss governments.

The decision concludes a competitive process that saw more than 30 companies vie for the right to oversee the $670 million vehicle, Investec said in a statement.

EAIF aims to make debt investments of $10 million to $36.5 million in infrastructure projects in a zone encompassing 47 countries, with a typical tenure of 15 years. Founded in 2002, it has committed about $1.2 billion to 63 projects since inception.

Its primary aim, according to donor-financed parent organisation Private Infrastructure Development Group, is to plug the gap “created by the high-interest short-term loans provided by commercial banks in the region, which are typically inappropriate for infrastructure financing”. Its operations have so far covered 19 countries.

In addition to the equity provided by its anchor investors, lenders include a combination of private sector financial institutions and development banks.

Launched in South Africa in 1991, Investec currently manages assets worth $109 billion, out of which its African holdings total $30 billion.