Pretoria-based Ascension Capital has held the first close for the firm’s maiden private equity fund, garnering commitments totaling R350 million (or approximately $24.5 million at current rates) from 5 pension fund investors. Ascension Private Equity Fund I (or APEF) ultimately aims to raise a total of R1.5 billion (or about $105 million at today’s rates) by the time it holds its final close, which Ascension expects to take place by the middle of 2023. The 10-year fund is aiming to return an IRR of 25% over the life of the fund.
Once it starts investing, APEF, which is sector-agnostic, will back mid-market companies in South Africa which have the potential to expand into other high growth markets or have exposure to those markets. Additionally, the fund’s investment decisions will be guided by trends in global politics, culture, ESG principles, and demographics, and the firms they back will need to show they can withstand or capitalize on these trends and successfully weather volatile macroeconomic landscapes.
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