AfDB invests $30 Million in Helios Investors II to support regional economic development in Africa

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The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) signed on 8 June in Lisbon an equity commitment of USD 30 million in Helios Investors II, L.P. (“Helios II”), a private equity investment fund managed by Helios Investment Partners. Helios II, focused on Sub-Saharan Africa. The fund will invest growth capital in companies seeking to expand regionally and acquire large scale businesses in a variety of sectors, ranging from infrastructure (telecommunications, transport) to financial services and insurance, agro-industries and consumer products.

The investment will help bring fundraising for Helios II to a final close at USD 900 million, in difficult fund raising times. Through its participation, the AfDB will be the first pan-African Development Finance Institution to participate in the fund. Convinced that the firm’s investment strategy to invest up to 50% of its committed capital in infrastructure will render social and economic benefits beyond mere financial returns, AfDB joined hands with Helios Investment Partners to track specific development indicators on job creation, household benefits, government revenues and business viability.  

Tope Lawani, Co-Managing Director, Helios Investment Partners said “We are very pleased with AfDB’s commitment to Helios Investors II, L.P. It is an affirmation of the attractiveness of the opportunities in the region and the effectiveness of Helios' investment strategy. Furthermore, given AfDB’s position as Africa’s premier development finance institution, we are excited about the long term potential for a significant strategic relationship between Helios and the Bank.”

Backing a firm with proven track record in investing regional companies fits well with the AfDB to its Regional Integration Strategy 2009-2012, which emphasizes the importance of mobilizing resources for regional infrastructure and supporting the involvement of regional private sector groupings in regional infrastructure projects. “We believe in the capacity of large regional companies to strengthen domestic market, spur job creation and role model for corporate governance”, said Mouhamadou Niang, AfDB Division Manager for Industry and Services.

Helios II reflects Helios Investment Partners’ successful investment philosophy which, among other elements, includes intensive hands-on operational involvement. Helios Investment Partners believes that value is created by committing greater resources to fewer investments and that risk is mitigated by intense investment monitoring and enhanced reactivity to emerging portfolio issues.

Tim Turner, Director, AfDB Private Sector and Microfinance Department added: “Our investment in Helios II is about backing those who grow EBITDAs in a business savvy, disciplined and systematic approach and as they do so, deliver measurable economic and social returns”

About Helios Investment Partners

Helios Investment Partners is an Africa-focused private investment firm. Helios operates a family of funds and their related co-investment entities, aggregating more than $1.7 billion in capital commitments.

Established in 2004 and led by co-founding partners Tope Lawani and Babatunde Soyoye, Helios is one of the largest investment firms focusing on Africa and is among the few independent pan-African private equity investment firms to be founded and managed by Africans. Helios' portfolio companies operate in more than 25 countries, and in various industrial sectors, across the African continent. The firm has significant experience in private equity investing across a broad range of industries and investment types - leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations, joint ventures, seed-stage venture capital, restructurings, and strategic public equity investments.

Limited partners in Helios' funds include several leading global funds of funds, endowments and foundations, sovereign wealth funds, family offices, high net-worth individuals and development finance institutions.

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