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Helios repays $50mln OPIC loan in full

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Helios Investment Partners has repaid a $50 million loan made by OPIC in full. The loan, which was issued in 2006, helped capitalize the Africa-focused private equity manager’s first fund, Helios Investors, LP, a $305 million growth equity fund which has been invested across various sectors in Sub-Saharan Africa. The fund made a total of 6 investments, and to date has exited 3 of them, generating sound returns.

These include Helios’ investment in Equity Bank, a leading bank in East Africa offering products and services that promote financial inclusion to an unbanked population, the launch of HTN Towers, the first independent telecommunications tower company in Africa devoted to building and operating shared towers infrastructure and the expansion and support of marketing channels for businesses operating in Africa with Continental Outdoor Media, Africa’s largest outdoor advertiser.

Tope Lawani, co-founder and Managing Partner of Helios Investment Partners, commented, “We are proud of Helios’ long association with OPIC, and pleased to demonstrate through our successful investments the positive impact of the capital it has provided to our funds over the years.”

Following the initial loan to Helios in 2006, OPIC has since approved an additional $78.5 million for Helios Investors II, L.P, a $908 million fund which was raised in 2010.

“With OPIC’s original backing Helios has grown from one of the first private equity investment firms in Africa to a successful fund manager that has earned the trust and confidence of global commercial investors. Through Helios’ mobilization of private capital to support impactful and viable projects, OPIC achieved both development and financial goals. The success of Helios’ emerging market investments validates a strategy that simultaneously seeks high-quality development objectives, viable financial returns, and catalyzes capital in emerging markets,” said Elizabeth Littlefield, OPIC’s President and CEO.

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