Carlyle seals first Africa deal with $210 million stake

JOHANNESBURG Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:18am GMT

A general view of the lobby outside of the Carlyle Group offices in Washington, May 3, 2012. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

A general view of the lobby outside of the Carlyle Group offices in Washington, May 3, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

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JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Carlyle Group LP (CG.O) and two other investors will pay $210 million for a stake in pan-African agribusiness Export Trading Group, in the U.S. buyout firm's debut deal on the fast-growing continent.

Carlyle, Standard Chartered (STAN.L) and South African private equity fund Pembani Remgro said in a statement on Wednesday they would take a minority stake in Tanzania-based ETG, which farms and distributes more than 25 different commodities.

Carlyle established a sub-Saharan African team in March, opening offices in South Africa and Nigeria in a sign of the growing interest in Africa from global private equity firms.

Home to some of the world's fastest growing economies, Africa is also hampered by illiquid public capital markets, making traditional equity investments more difficult.

ETG, an agriculture supply chain manager, has a presence in 30 African countries and warehouses and facilities in Asia. It focuses on commodities such as maize, sugar, nuts and coffee.

Through its private equity arm, Standard Chartered first invested $74 million in ETG earlier this year. It will be increasing its stake through the investment with Carlyle.

Pembani Remgro Infrastructure Fund is a private equity fund run by South African investment firm Remgro Ltd (REMJ.J) and Phuthuma Nhleko, the former head of African mobile giant MTN Group (MTNJ.J)

(Reporting by David Dolan; editing by Jane Baird)

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