Preqin's Fund Manager Profiles reveals that there are currently 61 private equity firms operating from South Africa. Collectively, these firms have raised $9.5bn in private equity capital over the last 10 years, and have $2bn available in dry powder.
The majority of the firms are based in Johannesburg, South Africa’s largest city. Out of 61 firms, 32 are located in central Johannesburg or in the nearby areas of Sandton, Illovo and Bryanston. Eleven firms are based in Cape Town, while two are headquartered in Bellville.
The largest five private equity firms based in South Africa by capital raised in the last decade are Ethos Private Equity, Old Mutual Private Equity, Pamodzi Investment, Absa Capital and Brait Private Equity.
Ethos Private Equity has raised almost $1.6bn in aggregate capital commitments over the last 10 years and has an estimated $487mn available in dry powder. The buyout shop has raised seven funds since it was established in 1984. Its most recent fund, Ethos Private Equity Fund VI, reached its final close in January 2013 and is one of two private equity funds raised by a South Africa-based manager to close so far this year. The fund raised $800mn, exceeding its target by $50mn. The firm invests in Sub-Saharan Africa, with its main focus on South Africa, in a wide range of industries including financial services, manufacturing, consumer products and infrastructure.
Old Mutual Private Equity has raised $1.3bn in aggregate capital commitments in the last 10 years, and has an estimated $93mn available in dry powder. The firm manages both funds of funds and direct private equity funds and has also raised a secondaries vehicle. Old Mutual is in the process of raising capital for its fourth buyout fund; Old Mutual Private Equity Fund IV, aiming to raise ZAR 3bn to invest across a range of industries in South Africa.
Capitalworks Equity Partners is another South Africa-based manager to have closed a fund so far in 2013. The private equity firm closed CapitalWorks Private Equity Fund II having raised $270mn, surpassing its $250mn target. The fund focuses on growth investments in mid-market companies primarily in South Africa, with a small proportion of the fund invested in Sub-Saharan Africa. Its industry focus includes healthcare, education, consumer goods and financial services.