OPIC Board Approves $150 Million for Investment Fund for West Africa

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) today approved up to $150 million in financing to support the establishment of a private equity investment fund designed to invest in companies in West Africa, in response to an announcement by President Obama last year.

At a speech in Cairo in June 2009, President Obama announced that the United States would launch an investment fund to support technological development in Muslim-majority countries. OPIC responded last October by issuing a call for proposals to manage a Global Technology and Innovation Fund, intended to catalyze private sector investments that promote technological growth in OPIC-eligible countries Asia, the Middle East and Africa. The fund approved today was among 87 responses to the call.

The Capital Alliance Private Equity III Limited Fund will invest in well-performing companies with high growth potential, as well as turnaround situations and regional cross-border expansion opportunities. Sectors of interest to the fund include telecommunications, financial services, business services, logistics, electric power and oil & gas. The fund will focus particularly on Nigeria, as well as the Gulf of Guinea countries (Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Togo, Benin, Sao Tome and Principe, and Angola). The fund has a target capitalization of $350 million.

OPIC selected as fund manager African Capital Alliance Limited (ACA), a Lagos, Nigeria-based firm formed in 1997. ACA has a track record of successfully investing in Nigeria and West Africa