Ethos Private Equity (“Ethos”), one of Africa’s leading alternative asset managers, today announced an agreement with JSE and LSE-listed investment manager Ninety One, to take on an advisory contract for Ninety One’s Africa Private Equity funds, effective as at 15 December 2020.
The contract marks a milestone for Ethos, significantly extending its platform across the continent and reinforcing its commitment to a pan-African strategy. After more than three decades of private equity investment in Africa and $2 billion of capital deployed, Ethos now manages or advises on 30 active investments across eight funds.
Ninety One’s Africa Private Equity funds (Fund I and Fund II), hold seven assets with a broad pan-African footprint, including Egypt and Morocco. The assets invest in a diverse range of sectors across telecommunications (IHS), retail (Spinneys, Kamoso), private education (Richfield), financial services (IDM), and logistics (J&J, SJL Maghreb).
This is Ethos’ fourth initiative in recent years to build a broader African alternative asset management platform, with previous initiatives including the successful integration of the Ethos Mezzanine Partners team (2016), the launch of an Ethos AI fund (2018) and taking on management of Brait’s assets (2020).
Stuart MacKenzie, Chief Executive, Ethos Private Equity, commented: “This agreement with Ninety One is a strong endorsement of the Ethos platform and marks a significant milestone as we expand our activities on the continent in line with our pan-African diversification strategy. Ethos is committed to leveraging its private equity expertise to support the African recovery journey and play its part in helping stabilize the sector post COVID-19. Challenging times call for seasoned stewardship, disciplined execution, and innovation. Our relationship with Ninety One is based on these principles, providing a clear path to value maximization for all stakeholders.”
John Green, Chief Commercial Officer, Ninety One, said: “The decision to engage an adviser for our Africa Private Equity funds is in line with our commitment to simplifying our business while pursuing better outcomes for our limited partners. We are pleased to secure Ethos’ investment advisory expertise for our Africa Private Equity assets, as we believe their capability and strategic alignment with this opportunity will ensure the best possible result for investors.”
Ninety One will maintain control and oversight of the portfolio, while Ethos takes over day to day management of the assets in line with its advisory contract. Jonathan Matthews (Ethos Partner) will act as Managing Partner for the funds with support from Aliya Shariff (Ethos Partner), as well as Gerben Dijkstra and Nick Marsh, who both join Ethos from Ninety One as Partners, providing continuity on the assets.
Jonathan Matthews, Partner, Ethos Private Equity, commented: “Today’s announcement shows that Ethos is well-positioned to support LPs, co-investors and management teams, even in extremely challenging operating environments. We look forward to leveraging Ethos’ ecosystem of expertise across the continent to maximize value for all key stakeholders on these funds.”
Aliya Shariff, Partner, Ethos Private Equity, commented: “In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ethos continues to see the African continent as an area for growth – through new investments, as well as expansion opportunities for Ethos portfolio companies. It’s a time of significant change for the private equity sector in Africa and we expect to see further opportunities like this going forward.”