Old Mutual Investment Group, which already has $5.1 billion in investments across Africa – outside of South Africa, has announced fundraising plans to invest a further $1 billion in the coming two years.
So far, the company’s investment focus had been in Southern and Eastern Africa, but Old Mutual aims to expand its investments in Western Africa and Nigeria in particular.
The company cites a $300 million pipeline in ‘potential opportunities’ across sub-Saharan Africa, including agricultural investments: ”the investment focus is largely directed at sustainable projects around key development themes, which also go beyond listed equity. ”These include alternative investment and fixed interest arenas such as low carbon energy, education, affordable housing, infrastructure real estate, agriculture and unlisted debt, diversified across countries, asset types, managers, and economic/inflation cycles.’’
Old Mutual director of investments Hywel George noted that ”while private equity investments on the continent remain long-term and illiquid, they are giving us net real returns of 2 percent to 3 percent above listed assets.”
In addition to housing, infrastructure and agriculture, Old Mutual will pursue the opportunities delivered by Africa’s much-publicised growing consumer class and related industries such as banking, insurance and mobile telecoms. Afro-optimism here: ”From a global viewpoint, Africa continues to offer high growth opportunities, while risk diminishes and fundamentals remain solid,’’ according to the company.