Nigeria To Benefit From $150bn SME Investment | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Nigeria To Benefit From $150bn SME Investment

Posted: Nov 20, 2015 at 7:40 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Nigeria, alongside other countries in West Africa, are set to benefit from a new funding to be raised by CBO Investment to develop small and medium enterprises (SME) in the sub region.

CBO Investment Management is a West Africa investment firm based in Lagos, Nigeria and founded in 2008. The firm is managed by Managing Partners Bex Nwawudu & Chuka Mordi, along with Managing Director, Joanne Yoo and has 17 professionals on the ground.

The funding is being seeded by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the US Government’s development finance institution. Already, OPIC has approved a $18.75 million commitment in CBO Investment Management’s (CBOIM) fund, CBO Growth Private Equity Investment Limited Fund, which is seeking to raise $150 million from international and local institutional investors to invest in small and medium enterprise companies (SMEs) in West Africa.

CBOIM is one of the first private equity fund managers to target African institutional capital through a Nigeria onshore fund in parallel with a fund backed by international investors.

The Fund will specifically invest in SMEs with scalable growth patterns and credible management teams across six core sectors, including agribusiness/ food processing, energy services, manufacturing and import substitution, education and healthcare services, technology and media and real estate services.

CBOIM and OPIC have a mutual commitment to make investments that not only generate commercial private equity returns, but also have a positive developmental impact. “CBOIM presents an opportunity for OPIC to support an institutional-quality investment manager that will provide critical capital to SMEs in a variety of sectors in Nigeria and the rest of West Africa where access to finance for SMEs remains a challenge, but has a strong potential for development impact,” OPIC’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Littlefield, said in a statement.

“I’m especially proud that this is the first Africafocused approval to result from OPIC’s Innovative Financial Intermediaries Programme (IFIP), an OPIC initiative to facilitate capital flow to developing economies,” Littlefield said. Also commenting, the Managing Partner of CBOIM, Bex Nwawudu, said: “Securing investment from OPIC is a powerful endorsement of the opportunity, our strategy to support the best calibre SMEs in West Africa and our governance and ESG structures.”

According to Nwawudu, “we have a long term vision for CBO and a clear plan for delivering superior returns. We are now making excellent progress to ensure we are attracting both international and African institutional investors as well as the partnerships required to fulfil them.”

CBOIM recently appointed Gary Steinberg (the former Chief of the Investment Unit at the International Monetary Fund) as Chair of the Advisory Board and to the Investment Committee.