Private equity real estate investor RMB Westport announced the first close for its second African real estate development fund at $250 million last week. To date, RMB Westport Real Estate Development II has attracted commitments from 8 investors, among them the IFC and the indirect investment arm of the Grosvenor Group, the privately-owned international property company, making its first investment commitment to sub-Saharan Africa.
There was also a notable rise in commitments from South Africa, relative to RMB Westport’s first property investment fund, a $256 million vehicle which held its final close in August 2012 and which has made investments in Nigeria, Ghana and Angola. RMB Westport’s second fund, which is targeting $450 million with a hard cap of $500 million, will make investments in retail, office and industrial properties in sub-Saharan Africa, with a particular emphasis on the countries of Nigeria, Ghana, Angola and Côte d’Ivoire.
The fund has a strong pipeline of potential investments, fueled by strong demand for high-grade retail, industrial and commercial property. “Despite a number of macro-economic headwinds in certain of the territories in which we operate, strong long term growth prospects, coupled with favorable demographics and the pleasing trends of increasing urbanization and consumer spending have all led to high demand for retail, industrial and commercial property space,” noted Simon Fifield, RMB Westport’s CEO.
RMB Westport has been involved in the development and management of 11 premium property developments in Africa since 2008, including Nigeria’s Ikeja City Mall, which the firm exited in November 2015, as well as the Stanbic Heights, Accra Financial Centre and Junction Shopping Centre developments in Ghana.