Hands-on: Chad Smart, founder of Capitalworks Group. Picture: ROBERT TSHABALALA
Hands-on: Chad Smart, founder of Capitalworks Group. Picture: ROBERT TSHABALALA

Alternative asset manager Capitalworks Group, which is in the throes of a buy-out offer for Uitenhage-based poultry group Sovereign Food, has launched a $300m sub-Saharan Africa investment company.

Newly formed Africa Capitalworks would aim at mobilising permanent equity capital in mid-market companies in strategically selected sectors across sub-Sahara Africa, excluding SA, the group disclosed on Thursday.

Africa Capitalworks had already secured early support and substantial investment for its $300m fund from CDC, a well-known UK development finance institution, and the Public Investment Corporation, which manages the retirement savings of South African government employees, it said in a media statement.

Africa Capitalworks will be led by joint managing partners Beth Mandel and Nana Sao.

Mandel has been managing Capitalworks Group’s Africa strategy since 2007, while Sao, who is the founder of Sao Capital, has more than 17 years’ investment experience.

Mandel said Africa Capitalworks had been purpose built for sub-Saharan Africa to deploy capital in an effort to secure "true partnership, high impact and high returns".

Capitalworks Group founder Chad Smart said that by having multiple investment perspectives through which it was actively searching for attractive transaction opportunities, Capitalworks Africa would be able to differentiate itself from other players in the sub-Saharan Africa market. Capitalworks would immerse itself in every investment, he said.

"In addition to having representation on the boards of directors and key committees of its portfolio companies, the team maintains direct, frequent contact with management teams and plays a key role in significant strategic, financial and commercial decisions," Smart said.

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