French managers create Africa-focused group

French private equity trade body AFIC has created a club dedicated to investing in Africa.

In response to recent economic growth in Africa, French private equity trade body AFIC has created the “Club Afrique,” a group aiming to spur private equity investment in the continent, according to French news site Boursier.

The group is chaired by Hervé Schricke, chief executive officer at XAnge Private Equity and a former chairman of the AFIC who has experience working in major African banks. The club will serve as a resource for both fund managers and investors currently investing in Africa or wishing to expand their activities to the region.

“While a promising private equity industry is emerging in Africa, AFIC wishes to bring together through the club a range of expertise to help with the development and financing of growth on the African continent,” said Schricke in a statement. “It is an opportunity to contribute to strengthening the economic and financial ties between France and Africa, which are close both geographically and culturally.”

The club is hoping to build ties with African private equity players and professional associations and represent the French industry at international events, as well as work with French institutions that play a role in the development of private equity in Africa.

The creation of the club follows another recent industry development in France. Last month, a pro-business bill introducing a new type of fund vehicle (the “société de libre partenariat”) cleared the National Assembly. The aim of the vehicle is to place non-French private equity investors on more equal tax footing with local LPs and create an equivalent to the English limited partnership, the vehicle of choice for buyout professionals. Industry sources expect that the controversial economic reform bill could come to pass as early as summer.