The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a $15 million equity investment in Verod Capital Growth Fund III, a private equity fund, to boost presence in high growth middle market companies in Anglophone West Africa including Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone and the Gambia.
In a statement, the bank said that the fund’s investments would be in companies in consumer driven sectors including light industrial, fast moving consumer goods, education, financial services and agro processing, adding that the ticket size for each investment will be between $ 5 million and $20 million.
“The fund will help accelerate investments in small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) in the West African region. This is key to job and wealth creation, knowledge transfer and scaling up of local businesses,” said Abdu Mukhtar, the AfDB’s Director of Industrial and Trade Development.
He also added: “The Fund will provide an important vehicle to growing SMEs in Africa, which are a key pillar to the continent’s industrialization drive.”
According to the statement, the Fund Manager, Verod Capital Partners, is an experienced indigenous private equity firm with extensive knowledge of the Anglophone West Africa market. It also possesses a strong record of accomplishment in SME investments. Since 2008, Verod Capital Partners has invested in 16 SME companies in the region. The Fund’s target size is $150 million.
According to the AfDB: “Verod Capital Growth Fund III will have a direct and measurable impact on individual businesses in West Africa while improving their ability to expand thereby providing benefits in terms of government revenue and job creation to the countries’ domestic economies. This is in line with the bank’s private sector strategy of supporting projects that have a strong impact on job creation, economic growth and poverty alleviation.”