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Alternative Investment

The Capital Quest | The Rohatyn Group enters Africa with acquisition of Ethos Private Equity

Emerging markets and real assets-focused private equity investor The Rohatyn Group (TRG), which had previously picked up Citigroup’s private equity investment franchise over a decade ago, has moved into Africa with a definitive agreement to acquire Ethos Private Equity.

The development comes just over a week after Ethos, a South African PE firm, said its mid-market team had spun out to form Infinite Partners.

TRG said that combining forces with Ethos positions it to deliver a larger array of investment avenues to limited partners of both firms. It didn’t disclose terms of the transaction.

Since 1984, Ethos has made over 150 investments supporting South African and sub-Saharan businesses. With over 20 years of experience, TRG invests across public equities, corporate and sovereign debt, private markets, forestry, agriculture, and infrastructure.

The transaction is subject to customary conditions, including the approval of the South African competition and exchange control authorities.

Nicolas Rohatyn, TRG’s founder and CEO, said: “We share a belief that multiple thematic cross currents – such as private credit, renewable energy, digitalization, and agriculture, among others – will anchor future investment priorities for investors. Our combined firm, with almost $8 billion in AUM, almost 400 institutional LPs, and the ability to offer solutions for de novo investing, as well as ongoing GP consolidations and fund restructurings, will occupy a unique position in our industry.”

The New York based-firm employs over 120 professionals in 16 cities across the US, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, India, Southeast Asia and Oceania. It has about $6 billion in assets under management currently.

Stuart MacKenzie, Ethos CEO, said the firm has diversified its product offering, geographic footprint and sources of capital since 2016. “This transaction represents a compelling opportunity for us to pursue the next growth phase as the African arm of TRG, one of the largest alternative asset management firms in emerging markets.”

Established in 1984, Ethos is an investment manager in Africa with private equity and mezzanine strategies. The firm says it has been pursuing a growth vision since 2016 and it is now a diversified, multi-fund platform with a significant presence across the continent. It currently has $1.7 billion in assets under management.

Lazard was the advisor to TRG during the transaction process and assisted TRG in its completion.

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