order http://cellar433.com/wp-includes/link-template.php geneva;”>News that Citadel Capital was again the largest African firm on the annual Private Equity International (PEI) 300 ranking came as the firm took home multiple peer-judged performance-based awards in London and Arusha, unhealthy Tanzania.
The PEI 300, now in its sixth year, is the only global ‘apples-to-apples’ comparison of private equity direct investment programs. Citadel Capital was ranked the largest PE firm in Africa on the basis of US$ 3.5 billion in qualifying fundraising in the period spanning 2007-2012.
“It is without question that we are living in the earliest days of the African Century. Eight years after our founding, we are happy to note that the rest of the world is finally waking up to the scale of the opportunities Africa presents investors who focus not on resource extraction, but on building globally competitive industries and sustainable infrastructure,” said Ahmed Heikal, Chairman and Founder of Citadel Capital, which controls investments of US$ 9.5 billion spanning 15 industries.
“Africa is long on opportunities, but short on capital and management expertise. Since inception we have focused on creating platform investments that offer solutions to pressing national challenges in the 15 nations in which we invest. Private equity has a vital role to play in large-scale investments in value-added industries and infrastructure projects that promise substantial development benefits for our continent. With investments such as Rift Valley Railway of Kenya and Uganda and the Egyptian Refining Company, we are creating companies that will solve challenges and multiply trade flows,” Heikal noted.
Citadel Capital has raised and invested more than US$ 4.9 billion in equity for investment in the MENA region and East Africa since it was founded in 2004, generating US$ 2.2 billion in cash returns to shareholders and limited partners on investments of US$ 650 million, more than any other private equity firm in the MENA region. The firm had nearly US$ 1 billion of its own capital invested in its transactions at the end of 2011.
The firm was also named African Banker magazine’s “African Private Equity Fund of the Year” for 2012 at the magazine’s annual awards gala in Arusha, Tanzania. The jury recognized Citadel Capital in part for having raised US$ 767 million in third-party international capital in 2011 despite significant regional headwinds. Included in that sum was capital to complete the financing for a five-year turnaround program at Rift Valley Railways of Kenya and Uganda worth more than US$ 330 million.
Most recently, Citadel Capital took home three awards — more than any other firm — at the Reuters Private Equity Africa’s 2012 awards program in London, where the firm earned performance-based trophies for Portfolio Turnaround for Rift Valley Railways; Mid-Cap Landmark Deal for solid waste management play Tawazon; and a Special Recognition Award as North African Private Equity House of the Year.
Nominees for the Private Equity Africa Awards were chosen by the Coller Institute of Private Equity at the London Business School and the Africa Club, with winners selected by an impartial jury.
In 2011, Citadel Capital announced that leading global investors including development finance institutions had committed US$ 234 million in equity and debt to the RVR turnaround program.
Early operational improvements prior to the full funding of the turnaround program include a 30% improvement in key turnaround times, an additional decrease of more than 32% in accidents per train-kilometer to 370 in January 2012, doubling passenger train frequency to an average of 16 daily, and adding a new passenger route.
These early successes are due to solely improved management and operational practices arising from early-stage investment by Citadel Capital. The effects of the long-term capital investment program are expected to positively impact financial performance in 2013; RVR plans to spend more than US$ 69.3 million this year on improvements under the turnaround program.