US private equity firms' newest playground is in Africa - report

By Rizza Sta. Ana

Sep 24, 2013 02:16 PM EDT

A report by news channel CBNC said that more private equity firms in the US have been shifting their focus to Africa in recent years. PineBridge Investments, Carlyle Group and KKR & Co were some of the top private equity firms who had placed investments in Africa. Although their investments were just a fraction to each of its total investments globally, the firms were expected to invest more in Africa in the near future.

During a panel discussion Monday night in New York, Carlyle Group global head of external affairs David Marchick said, "We're not even in Chapter One of private equity in Africa. It's more like the prelude. We hope all the major firms will be there in five to 10 years."

In the same event, Blackstone's private equity unit senior managing director Sean Klimczak said, "Being there early in many of these countries with transformative projects ... will then position us well to try and understand the economies on a go forward basis." 

The enthusiasm in the event to invest in Africa was not diminished by the recent shooting at a Nairobi mall. 

According to an Emerging Markets Private Equity Association review, a total of 36 deals worth USD850 million was invested by private equity firms in Africa in the first half of this year. 

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