Africa-focused private equity fund manager AfricInvest has teamed up with Bpifrance to launch the French African Fund, a cross-border investment fund that will target opportunities in small and medium-sized business in both France and Africa.
Capital commitments have been made by a diverse group of investors in both France and Africa. These include Bpifrance itself as well as French development finance institution Proparco, French bank Société Générale and mobile telecoms firm Orange. More than 25% of the commitments have come from African investors including the Caisse Nationale de Prévoyance de Côte d’Ivoire, Saham, the Moroccan insurance company, Financecom, the Moroccan industrial and financial group, the Central Bank of Kenya’s pension fund as well as a number of private investors from Kenya and Nigeria. AfricInvest, which will manage the fund, is also committing capital to the fund.
The fund aims to take minority equity stakes in mid-cap companies in France and Africa with potential to deliver significant growth. In addition to providing capital, AfricInvest will support portfolio company growth in each region, helping French firms expand into Africa and African firms to expand into France and the broader European region. Some 50% of the capital is expected to be invested in French firm’s looking to develop markets in Africa.
“The cornerstone of the strategy for the French African Fund…rests in AfricInvest’s ability to help French companies grow in Africa, and at the same time attract African companies to the French market,” commented Bpifrance’s Fund of Funds Executive Director, Benjamin Paternot. “The quality of AfricInvest’s experience…as well as the development potential of the African continent, have together attracted the highest quality partners in the private sector in France and Africa.”