MAURITIUS — Private equity fund ECP has announced the final close of its fourth Pan-African fund, ECP Africa Fund IV (AFIV), raising US$640 million, in what it bills as the largest private equity fund for African investment since September 2016.

Domiciled in Mauritius, AFIV and its related co-investments, the round attracted a broad range of investors based in Africa, Europe, and North America. 

African investors represent over half of the total number of investors.

The company says the funding round gathered the largest representation of African investors in its history, with a significant contribution from a variety of African pension funds and insurance companies. 

“This successful fundraising is a further sign of their trust in our value proposition on the African continent. ECP is a long-term investor with a patient view and it strives to establish larger platforms in a few select sectors such as energy, finance, and logistics. ECP has always worked hard to promote true African champions and has consequently been part of each chapter of the private equity evolution unfolding in Africa. With AFIV, ECP aims at deepening its commitment to Africa’s growth story,” said Co-CEOs Hurley Doddy and Vincent Le Guennou.

Among the limited partners include public and private pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, funds of funds as well as private sector investors such as Old Mutual Africa Private Equity Fund of Funds and a 57 Stars managed vehicle. 

Development Finance Institution (DFI) investors include Société de Promotion et de Participation pour la Coopération Économique (Proparco), Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG), African Development Bank, and Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). 

Based on data published both by the African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (AVCA) and the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association (EMPEA), AFIV represents the largest closing of an African private equity fund since September 2016, excluding infrastructure and real estate funds.

According to the company, AFIV is focused on control and significant minority stakes in four core sectors in Africa: financial services, consumer goods, telecommunications & ICT, and infrastructure & logistics. 

The fund has already closed four investments with operations across seven countries and sustains a strong pipeline.

Through this new fund, ECP intends to promote its focus on environmental, social, and governance best practices as well as economic inclusion in its portfolio companies.