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Feb. 13 (Bloomberg) -- 8 Miles LLP, the private-equity firm backed by Irish rock star Bob Geldof, has raised $200 million to invest in Africa after revising down its initial target.
The fund has pledges to invest from the World Bank, the African Development Bank, CDC Group Plc, a U.K. state-owned investor in emerging markets, as well as institutional and private investors, the London-based firm said in an e-mailed statement today. The firm, which initially sought about $1 billion, is seeking a total of about $450 million, spokesman Robin Hepburn said.
“Africa is now a continent of extraordinary business and investment opportunity,” Bob Geldof, who organized the Live Aid charity concerts and acts as 8 Miles’ non-executive chairman, said in the statement. “Private equity is one way to support the enterprise and dynamism of the people of the continent and help provide the jobs and skills that are needed.”
8 Miles, which took its name from the shortest distance between Europe from Africa, joins private equity firms including Washington-based Carlyle Group and London-based Helios Investments Partners LLP in raising funds to invest in Africa to tap faster growth than in western markets. Africa, with 1 billion inhabitants and a growing middle-class, had average annual economic growth of 6 percent over the past decade, according to 8 Miles. The firm will focus on agribusiness, consumer, health, telecommunications and financial services, it said.
Carlyle, one of the world’s biggest private-equity fund managers, is seeking about $500 million for its first fund targeting Sub-Saharan Africa, two people with knowledge of the plans said last March. The buyout firm opened offices in South Africa and Nigeria. London-based Helios raised $900 million for African deals last year.
--Editors: Jon Menon, Francis Harris
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