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Africa attracting new private equity interest

Business Day – Private equity firm Actis says equity funds have embraced investing in Africa because many governments have instituted market reforms which are creating opportunities for brave investors willing to take a long-term view on Africa.

“There is increased private equity interest in the continent, illustrated by numerous new (private equity) funds being raised for Africa," Peter Schmid, head of Actis Africa, said yesterday.

His firm recently led a consortium to acquire Alstom South Africa, a big electrical engineering, manufacturing, distribution and contracting business, for R5,16 bn.

Analysts say the lure of emerging markets in countries such as Russia, China and India, and now Africa, has grown stronger after the bruising credit crunch in the US and Europe.

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