Kaberuka joins Mo Ibrahim’s giant PE fund as senior adviser

Former president of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Donald Kaberuka. PHOTO | FILE
Former president of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Donald Kaberuka. PHOTO | FILE 

Former president of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Donald Kaberuka has joined a private equity tie-up between Sudanese billionaire Mo Ibrahim’s Satya Capital and an American fund TPG as senior adviser.

TPG/Satya is a new Africa-focused PE fund scouting for investment deals in sectors such as retail, healthcare and financial services.

TPG/Satya is banking on the knowledge and experience of the Rwandan economist, who was at the helm of AfDB for a decade until September this year, to help in hunting and structuring deals across the continent.

He was succeeded by Akinwumi Adesina, a former Nigerian minister, at AfDB.

“He has a deeply held optimism about Africa’s future and the role of private investment in unlocking that opportunity — beliefs that underpin the TPG Growth and Satya partnership,” said Mo Ibrahim, chairman of Satya Capital.

The Satya-TPG tie-up was announced in June this year as a platform to help the cash-rich California-based PE firm access the African market.
TPG has more than $70 billion (Sh7 trillion) in assets under management.

Its portfolio includes taxi-hailing App Uber and online hospitality giant Airbnb. TPG/Satya made its first investment in September in Ecoles Yassamine, a chain of private schools in Morocco.

Satya Capital’s bid to acquire a controlling stake in Nakumatt Supermarkets collapsed in 2009, locking it out of one of Kenya’s fastest growing economic sector.

Nakumatt is owned by the Atul Shah family and Hotnet Ltd, a company associated with former Kilome MP Harun Mwau.

Ibrahim’s fund in 2013 bought a 25 per cent stake in ISON Growth Markets, the holding company that owns Spanco BPO Africa, in a deal valued at between $20 million (Sh2 billion) .

TPG Capital has offered to invest up to $1 billion (Sh100bn) across Africa while Satya will also make available an extra $400 million (Sh40 billion) in a war chest meant to fund acquisitions from Cape to Cairo. 

“Private equity is transforming Africa. I’m delighted to be joining TPG/Satya as it builds the next generation of African success stories,” said Mr Kaberuka.

The appointment of the ex-AfDB boss highlights the increased appetite for ex-public servants by private investors seeking to exploit their influence, extensive contacts and understanding of markets.