Sixty-three private equity firms are currently based in South Africa, according to Preqin’s Fund Manager Profiles database. Buyout financing is the most popular investment strategy for these firms, with 28 undertaking this approach either exclusively or as part of a broader strategy. This is followed by 25 firms specifically pursuing venture capital deals (including either early stage, expansion/late stage or general venture capital), and 20 adopting growth investments as part of their strategy. Collectively, these 63 fund managers have raised $7.2bn in the last 10 years and have an estimated $1.8bn available in dry powder.
The top five South Africa-based fund managers, ranked in order by aggregate capital raised over the last decade, are Pamodzi Investment Holdings, Ethos Private Equity, Absa Capital Private Equity, Brait Private Equity, and Lereko Metier. In the past 10 years these five firms combined have raised $4.3bn in capital commitments, which amounts to 60% of the total capital raised by all the 63 South African-based fund managers over the same period.
Pamodzi Investment, which is one of only three South Africa-based firms actively investing in natural resources, focuses on natural resources investments in sub-Saharan Africa. The firm is the fund manager of South Africa's largest private equity fund to date, the $1.3bn Pamodzi Resources Fund I. The vehicle targets mining and energy resources and resource-enabling infrastructure opportunities.
Ethos Private Equity is a control and growth investor, pursuing medium to larger South African buyouts, the expansion of good quality businesses, and niche privatisation opportunities. The firm engages in activities that enhance social development and economic value in the broader South African community. Absa Capital Private Equity is similarly driven by a high regard for socio-economic responsibility and sustainability. The firm is part of the investment banking division of Absa Bank, and has a generalist industry approach, focusing on investment opportunities in companies that are expected to grow faster than the South African Gross Domestic Product (GDP).