Travant Capital Partners, a West and Central African private equity firm, completed the first close of its debut fund on $107 million within ten months of starting fundraising.
The fund was founded by Osaze Osifo, the former chief executive of Ocean and Oil holdings, a Nigerian principal investment company, and Andrew Alli, formerly of the IFC, a United Nations-backed investment company.
Travant raised $77 million from regional investors and $30 million from CDC, the UK government-owned development agency. Alli, the firm’s deputy-chief executive, said: “It’s a fact the economies in Africa, generalising slightly, are doing well. This generates the funds local people have to invest, and people are also seeing you can make good returns putting your money in Africa. What’s happening in certain other markets with the credit crunch makes the region more attractive.”
The fund is now scaling up its fundraising efforts and is looking to raise $300 million in total by the end of the year. It will widen its attempts to court an international investor base, while it also hopes it will receive more backing from the region’s investors.
O'Melveny & Myers, a law firm, advised Travant.
The firm is taking a generalist approach to investment across sectors such as financial services, oil and gas, IT, and telecoms. It is investing across West and Central Africa, which it defines as countries from Mauritania down to Angola. It has offices in Lagos, Nigeria and Douala, Cameroon.
The largest private equity firms on the continent operating outside South Africa are firms with international founders such as Emerging Capital Partners, Actis and Abraaj Capital. Other domestic firms are attempting to raise funds, such as Venture Partners Botswana, which is looking to raise a €150 million ($232 million) Southern Africa fund.