Pan-African private equity investor Duet Group is teaming up with Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria or AMCON to launch a $400 million fund focused on turnaround and distressed opportunities in Nigeria’s fast moving consumer goods sector. As part of the deal, AMCON is contributing 6 portfolio companies which are currently under its control to the fund. The fund will, in turn, invest up to $200 million in debt restructuring and additional capital in the firms.
The fund’s portfolio will consist exclusively of locally-branded food and beverage companies. Henry Gabay, Duet’s CEO and head of its private equity investment activities is a strong believer that the time is ripe to invest in Nigeria’s FMCG sector, with import substitution and local product development initiatives offering investors significant opportunities in the region.
“We plan to invest new capital into those companies as well as contribute additional management and industrial expertise,” he said. “Where necessary we will leverage our excellent relations with blue chip companies to ring in additional expertise to these companies by teaming up with experienced industrial partners.”
Commenting on the proposed fund, AMCON’s CEO, Ahmed Kuru, welcomed the private-public partnership as a good example of the Nigerian government’s drive to attract fresh, direct foreign capital into businesses, stating that “…our initiative will provide working capital for many companies which have suffered in the past from a scarcity of finance.”
Duet has plans to establish a permanent presence in Nigeria in the near future to facilitate deal origination, enhance portfolio management build relationships with local partners.