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Nigeria-based PE firm, Uhuru raises N$113m

Nigeria based private equity firm, Uhuru Investment says it has raised $113millioin under its first growth fund targeting high-growth SMEs and middle market businesses operating in the consumer-facing and financial services sectors across West Africa.

The firm co-founded by Yemi Osindero is expecting to play a pivotal role in boosting post-pandemic economic recovery in Nigeria, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire and other Francophone West African markets.

In a statement, the PE firm said, “the capital from UGF’s first close will boost job creation, increase access to goods and services in consumer staples, and enhance access to the healthcare and financial services sectors.

“With a target close of US $200 million, the first-generation fund will invest across the West African region including Nigeria, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire and other Francophone markets.”

Osindero who has a bachelors and doctorate degrees from Bath University in the UK and first broke into top echelon of business in Lagos in 2005 as co-founder of Virgin Nigeria where he served as Chief Operating Officer and he has recently co-led African Private Equity for Standard Chartered Bank.

His UGF is backed by leading commercial, impact and development finance institutions (DFIs) including Kuramo Capital Management and AfricaGrow (a commercial vehicle blending private funding from Allianz and public funding from KfW of Germany).

The development finance investors in UGF are European Investment Bank, DEG, CDC, SIFEM, and Finnfund and the commitment provided by these investors will provide the vital capital to support local businesses’ economic revival from the COVID-19 pandemic, and boost trade across the continent, Osindero said.

According to him, “given Uhuru’s unique position in the market and competitive grasp of the fastest-growing economies across the ECOWAS region, the firm expects to unlock further capital for deployment as it evolves as an institution. UGF will leverage the expertise of Uhuru Investment Partners’ indigenous-African team, their track record of successful investments in the region, robust local networks and extensive knowledge of West Africa’s markets.”

Osindero said, “we are immensely grateful for the unwavering support of our investors in what has been a challenging fundraising environment. We look forward to positively impacting the growth of West Africa’s economies by supporting local companies in our target sectors, helping them grow into regional champions, and creating new, high-quality jobs.”

Uhuru Capital has other partners in Nana Adow Dankwa and Jean-Michel Kamanan and the firm has key executive and operational teams in Abidjan, Accra and Lagos, a huge asset that will enable the team effectively source investment opportunities in the Anglophone and Francophone economies of West Africa.

Uhuru’s presence in the region’s largest and leading commercial hubs also enables it to get actively involved in the operations of portfolio companies across the region.

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