Uhuru Investment Partners (Uhuru), a leading middle-market private equity firm based out of Lagos and Abidjan, has announced the first close of Uhuru Growth Fund I (UGF) at US$113 million, with capital support from CDC Group.
In addition to CDC Group, UGF is backed by commercial investors AfricaGrow and Kuramo Capital, in addition to Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) including European Investment Bank, DEG, SIFEM, and Finnfund. Commitment from Uhuru’s partners will provide the vital capital to support local businesses’ economic revival from the COVID-19 pandemic and boost trade across the continent.
UGF’s capital will also support enterprises that boost job creation, increase access to goods and services in consumer staples, and enhance access to healthcare and fintech sectors.
With a target final 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.
Having forged a partnership over the years, CDC Group has supported Uhuru in mobilising DFI and commercial capital and has worked with the GP to improve governance and implement Business Integrity and Environmental and Social (E&S) best practice.
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, track record of investments in the region, their robust local networks, and extensive knowledge of West Africa’s markets.
Dr. Yemi Osindero, Managing Partner of Uhuru, said: “We are delighted to reach the first close of our fund. 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.”
Benson Adenuga, Head of CDC Nigeria Office and Coverage Director, commented: “Despite the challenging fundraising climate, Uhuru is well-positioned to deliver on a shared objective to provide critical private capital to help finance businesses and promote resilience and long-term growth in markets across the West African region.
“Our commitment will provide critical support in the economic recovery from the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, by providing growth capital and value addition to SMEs and mid-cap companies with a primary focus on consumer staples, healthcare and fintech across West Africa.
“CDC recognises that SMEs are the lifeblood of Africa’s economies and Uhuru’s ambition aligns with our 2021 commitment to support promising enterprises and drive inclusive growth and job creation across the continent, by investing over US$1 billion in Africa.”