New York, NY (MMD Newswire) October 11, 2012 - There's a new player on Wall Street: a company that is on a mission to help American investors find the next financial Holy Grail in the midst of the world economic crisis. As it turns out, that grail may be located in Africa, of all places, and K&A Private Equity, LLC, is the first New York based investment company focused exclusively on African businesses. Earlier this year K&A launched its first fund, Muchanga Capital LP, with a target of $600 million.
"Africa is the fastest growing region in the world, and it is rich with investment opportunities," says K&A's CEO, Congolese-born - and Columbia Business School-educated - entrepreneur Ephra Kazadi, who founded K&A in Paris along with his partner, business attorney Julien Bellahsene. (The other two partners, who joined the firm later, are Nicolas Bertrand, a quantitative analyst, and Hubert De Blignières, an investment banker.) Though Kazadi's statement may seem counter-intuitive to the casual observer, he explains that in terms of economic growth, Africa is actually outdistancing Brazil, Russia, India, and even China. "By 2015, seven countries in Africa are expected to be among the top ten fast-growing economies," he says.
Indeed, Africa is often overlooked in the big picture, but the truth, explains Kazadi, is that many African nations have shown strong, sustainable growth during the global financial crisis. This bodes well for the economic future of the world's second-largest - and second most populous - continent.
"Moreover," says Kazadi, "African companies provide a higher than average return on investments. Add to this the fact that African countries are among the world's richest in natural resources, and that the demographics favor dynamic growth. The population is young, the working population is significant, and there is a rising consumer class."
Kazadi, who has a background in the diamond business, established K&A to serve African businesses, support their investments, develop their competitiveness, and create opportunities for them. Though successful at its original Paris headquarters, K&A transferred its offices to the New York Financial District in order to be closer to potential American investors, and to take full advantage of the economic dynamism of the world's leading financial center.
Getting American investors interested in Africa may be a bit of a challenge, but K&A seems to be up to that challenge. It's really just a process of education, and of building trust. "In Europe, and particularly in London, investors have been aware of opportunities in Africa for a long time," says Kazadi. But with U.S. investors, the situation is a little different. Many are interested in Africa and willing to talk about investment, but not quite ready to commit. "That's why we've opened an office in New York," Kazadi explains. "We want to build a trust relationship. We want to be in a good position when investors are ready to commit money to Africa."
K&A differs from both traditional and other African private equity funds in several regards. Unlike traditional p.e. funds, K&A only invests in African countries. They do not use leveraged funds to make acquisitions, and they always require majority participation. Among the features that set them apart from other African p.e. funds, K&A concentrates on business development in order to sell to other funds, and they possess special expertise in mineral properties valuation. Moreover, explains Kazadi, the company has created an unparalleled network among African decision-makers, the result of the K&A principals' thorough understanding of socio-cultural, economic, and political factors in African countries.
"We invest in and build on middle market companies in the mining, construction, and agribusiness industries - companies that offer the greatest opportunity for us to create value for our limited partners and ourselves," says Kazadi. "We are looking for companies with a competitive advantage, a minimum of three years of positive results, and a minimum of $5 million in annual sales." He says there are currently several companies on the continent meeting these criteria.
With even the Wall Street Journal calling Africa the "last frontier for growth investors," it's a good bet that there will be more interest among U.S. investors in the near future. Says Kazadi, "We are committed to continually fostering economically sustainable relationships between American investors and African businesses. The choice to invest in Africa is a strategic assessment, based on a long-term objective. But we believe that the case for investing in Africa is stronger than it has ever been before."
For more information visit the K&A Private Equity Web site at http://www.kna-pe.com
Media Contact: Romain Deniel K&A Private Equity, LLC New York Office 14 Wall Street, Suite 2004 New York, NY 10005, USA Tel: 1 (212) 618-1500 E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org This is not an offering or the solicitation of an offer to purchase. Any such offer or solicitation will be made only by means of a final offering memorandum and only in those jurisdictions where permitted by law. ###