The investment appeal of South Africa

Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town, South Africa

South Africa faces numerous challenges, including high unemployment, stagnant economic growth, a beleaguered power sector, and overburdened transport infrastructure.

Despite these hurdles, Alexis Caude, a managing partner of Africa-focused private equity firm Adenia Partners, notes that he was struck by the large number of investable companies in South Africa – those of sufficient size and with strong management teams. “It is very different from other places on the continent,” he says, adding that South African CEOs are generally on par with their counterparts in Europe and the US.

In 2021, Adenia invested in its first South African enterprise, Herholdt’s, which is a distributor of renewable energy products such as solar panels, batteries and inverters. It has subsequently also invested in Enfin, a firm that finances solar solutions, and recently acquired the delivery company, The Courier Guy.

Furthermore, he points out that companies in South Africa typically have relatively low valuations and there is comparatively little competition from other private equity firms. “It makes the business case quite compelling if you’re able to grow faster than the depreciation of the rand … It’s a market where we see lots of opportunities.”

Read our full interview with Alexis Caude: From solar power to luxury roses – Investor discusses opportunities in Africa