London-based private equity firm, Actis, announced on Monday that it had assumed management rights of two funds previously run by Abraaj. The two are Abraaj Private Equity Fund IV (APEF IV), a global buyout fund, and Abraaj Africa Fund III (AAF III), a fund for investment in sub-Saharan Africa.
Dubai-based Abraaj collapsed last year amid a storm over abuse of investor funds. Actis, on the other hand, is a global emerging markets investment firm with a presence in Asia, Africa and Latin America. “The transaction, which includes investments in 14 portfolio companies across the two funds, further strengthens Actis’ existing market position and team in Africa and the Middle East,” the firm said in a statement.
“The combined private equity team is now 40 strong, having added investment professionals to the Nairobi, Johannesburg, Lagos offices in addition to Singapore and London and a new office in Dubai to the network,” it said.
The statement said Actis was invited to step in to help provide a solution that would be acceptable to both the limited partners of the two funds and the liquidators of the Abraaj estate. “We are pleased to have arrived at the best solution for investors and for our markets after a long, complex process. Going forward, we look forward to drawing on our 70-year heritage in Africa and across the growth markets, and fulfilling both our fiduciary duties to our new and existing investors and our responsibilities to the countries, cities and communities in which we operate,” said senior partner at Actis, Torbjorn Caesar.
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Actis now has $12 billion (Sh1.2 trillion) under management and over 250 people across 16 offices. The firm has extensive investments in the real estate sector in Kenya. The latest is its announcement of a partnership with Indian firm Shapoorji Pallonji Real Estate to develop a Sh12 billion housing project.