Sphere rounds off fundraising

Sphere Private Equity, a South African joint venture with African fundraising record-holder Ethos, has closed its fund on on a more modest R300 million.

Sphere Private Equity, a black-owned and black-managed South African private equity firm, has closed its debut private equity fund, Sphere Fund I on R300 million ($40 million; €32 million). 

Aadil Carim (left) and  Itumeleng Kgaboesele

Sphere’s fund comes when demand for private equity funding in South Africa is rapidly escalating.

Sphere Private Equity is a joint venture with Ethos Private Equity, which recently closed a record R5.5 billion fund.  Ethos holds 30 percent of the business; the remainder is owned by Sphere’s management. 

Itumeleng Kgaboesele, chief executive of the firm, said: “We are looking primarily at investing in companies showing competitive advantage in their sectors and an enterprise value of R50 million to R200 million.”

Kgaboesele said Sphere’s network, together with the team’s proficiency and black economic empowerment credentials, positioned the company as preferred partner in sourcing and securing an array of transactions.

Black economic empowerment is a programme launched by the South African government to redress the inequalities of Apartheid by giving previously disadvantaged groups such as black Africans and Indians economic opportunities previously not available to them.

Sphere Holdings is itself a black economic empowerment company established in October 2003 to pursue private equity fund management through Sphere Private Equity.

Kgaboesele, executive director Aadil Carim and associate director Marang Denalane, will lead Sphere’s investment activities.

The firm participated in the buy-out of Savcio Holdings in November 2005. Other deals currently being looked at by Sphere include a number of growth and replacement capital ventures, and buyouts.