International Private Equity Firms in Nigeria

You're going to enjoy today's post. I'll be sharing some eye-opening truths, just make sure read till the end.

A Private Equity Firm is a company that pulls money from other investment bodies like trust funds and pension funds; some institutional bodies like Universities and Foundations; and high net worth individuals: and invests all these money in the private equity of other companies.

Private Equity means non-publicly traded equity of companies; though it often refers to privately operated companies, it sometimes applies to publicly traded companies too. 
If you're the news junkie type, you would have come across the delisting of Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) from NSE. In June 2011, Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company, via a private arrangement, acquired all of NBC. Though Coca-Cola HBC is not a Private Equity firm, but that's how Private Equity firms buy out publicly traded companies they are interested in. 

And here's how most Private Equity firms operate:

  • They pull money from limited investment partners (some only admit members willing to contribute $1,000,000,000 and above)
  • They buy into private companies they are interested in. Actis invested in Palms Shopping Mall. 
  • They privately buy into public companies they are interested in. Actis invested in Diamond Bank. ECP invested in Intercontinental bank.
  • They buy out a public company and make it a privately own company. Not yet happened in Nigeria.
  • They cash out in good times by selling to another investor or taking the company public.

Now to the interesting part of this post: International Private Equity Firms in Nigeria.

This US firm is one of the biggest Private Equity firms in the world. It was ranked as number one in 2007, and currently ranks as number 2 in the world, based on capital size.
They manage over $170 billion, which is over times 5 our 2013 national budget!

Though Carlyle Group, in 2012, did a buy-out of Landmark Aviation, which has operations in Nigeria, it is yet to announce any major investment deal in Nigeria.

Actis is, perhaps, the biggest foreign private equity firm in Nigeria, by investment. It has invested in Mouka foams, UACN, The Palms Shopping Mall, Diamond Bank, and Starcomms. Though it has cashed out of most of its investments in Nigeria, it has ongoing investments in Diamond bank, Heritage Place (a real estate firm, focused on serviced apartments and office space), and Seven Energy (an Oil and Gas firm),.

Actis is a private equity firm that invests exclusively in Africa, Asia and Latin America. It's annual reports are worth more than a year's collection of The Economist, Forbes and Bloomberg Businessweek, combined. They show you what investors are betting on in Nigeria (and Africa) and all the numbers you need to be convinced that we're sitting on a pot of gold in Nigeria.

ECP is an international Private Equity Firm focused on investments in Africa, especially in the french-speaking African countries. It's, perhaps, the biggest private equity fund, by investment, in Africa. And it's won the most awards too, in Africa. 

It has invested in Continental Insurance and helped it get listed on the NSE, must have cashed out too.
And it's one of the major investors in IHS Towers, Nigeria's biggest telecoms infrastructure company (IHS recently raised over 160 billion naira in 1 year; it must be swimming in cash!).
It's also invested in Notore Chemical Industries and Starcomms.

There are also Ethos Private Equity Firm and a couple of others I can't remember now.

The irony is that we are complaining about how bad things are in Nigeria and there are these foreign folks betting millions of $$ on our success and bright future. It makes SMH.


  1. Africa is really the oppourtunity brand

  2. can you please assist me in my inquiry. I am putting together a list of active PE firms in Nigeria as well as the entry of recent players. I also want to confirm PE's that have investment in publicly listed companies?..i would appreciate your feedback.

  3. Useful information. Thank you.I wish to contact you on some opportunities for investment in Nigeria. I would connect with you.

    1. You're welcome, Emmanuel. Would be nice to connect with you.

  4. great piece. enjoyed the read. setting up a PE to pull funds to invest in smes in the south south. your article encouraged me to go on!

  5. can you please assist me in my inquiry. I am putting together a list of active PE firms in Nigeria as well as the entry of recent players.

    1. Hi,

      You can use this as a building block.


  6. Nice post but you should not SYH cos Nigeria is a pot of gold for investors with high liquidity and not people with ideas
    Our country has a system where 1 in 100,000 bright guys with great ideas for investment get noticed and possibly funded
    I have a dossier of 98 business ideas,I can gamble my life on just about 10 of them but it's still a challenge pushing it tru
    It's a lonely dark road but in china the reverse is the case,the reason for their world wide success in less than 50yrs


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