People & Money

CardinalStone’s West Africa SME Fund Closes at $64M

Lagos-based private equity fund manager CardinalStone Capital Advisers (CCA) has announced the final close of its maiden private equity fund, the CardinalStone Capital Advisers Growth Fund LP (CCAGF or the Fund) at US$64 million.

The CCAGF is a generalist fund that makes equity investments of $5 million–$10 million in high-growth SMEs operating across a range of sectors including industrials, agribusiness, consumer goods and services, education, healthcare, and financial services.

CCAGF investors, which are a mix of commercial and development finance institutions include Kuramo Capital, the UK Government’s CDC Group, FMO – the  Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank, the International Finance Corporation (IFC, part of the World Bank Group), the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) and a number of high-net-worth individuals.

Also Read: Mitigations: A Commercial, Legal and Regulatory Perspective on Private Equity Risks

The Fund, which recorded its first close in December 2018 and final close in September 2020, was established to support the growth and institutionalisation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating in two of West Africa’s leading economies – Nigeria and Ghana. 

Private equity companies raise and manage funds that are invested in different sectors. The first step in raising funding is announcing and marketing the fund to potential investors. The initial closing refers to the period within which the first set of investors commit to putting money in the fund while the final close refers to when the last set of investors have committed to investing in the fund.

Also Read: Transformations: Impact Investment Potentials for Private Equity in Nigeria’s Healthcare Industry

The CardinalStone Fund has invested in two businesses, iFitness Center Limited and AppZone Group Limited, and plans to invest in another 6-7 companies over the next 2 years.  

iFitness, a Nigeria-based fitness chain, operates with a mission of improving the overall health and well-being of the average Nigerian by providing high-quality, yet affordable fitness offerings.  Meanwhile, the fintech solutions provider, AppZone, provides a bouquet of financial services offerings.

“We are excited about our investments in both iFitness and AppZone and look forward to partnering with more like-minded founder/promoter teams towards building businesses with transformational impact across our target markets,” said Yomi Jemibewon, Co-Founder and Managing Director of CCA.

Michael Ajifowoke

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