US Private Equity Firm KKR Follows Carlyle, Blackstone Into Africa

US Private Equity Firm KKR Follows Carlyle, Blackstone Into Africa

US private equity firm KKR & Co plans to invest about $100 million in Africa in the next one year in agriculture, food business, energy and infrastructure projects, a senior advisor with the investment firm told Reuters earlier this week.

Dominique Lafont, who was appointed in July this year to help the firm expand in Africa, said KKR will use Nigeria as its regional base.

“We want to use Nigeria as regional base and springboard for West Africa,” Lafont told Reuters, adding that the investment firm was “not limited to one sector”.

KKR, which was founded in 1976 by Henry Kravis and George Roberts, now billionaires, and Jerome Kolhberg. Jr. (who died in August), would be following in the footsteps of firms like Carlyle Group and Blackstone, which have began making investments in Africa.

According to data compiled by the African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, private equity investments in the continent reached $8.1 billion in 2014, close to its pre-financial crisis level of $8.3 billion in 2007.

Africa fast growing economies and youthful demographics in driving demand for infrastructure, consumer goods and financial services as the continent’s middle class baloons.

A fall in commodity prices coupled with a slowdown in the region’s largest trading partner, china, is likely to slow growth this year to the lowest level since the global financial crisis, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund predicted.