The Managing Director of FBN Capital, Mr. Kayode Akinkugbe has emphasized that knowledge of the local operating environment is essential for foreign investors looking to make in-roads to the investment landscape in sub-Saharan Africa. He made this known during the Africa Inbound Forum at the Waldorf Hilton Hotel in London which focused on spotlighting deal opportunities within the continent’s cash-rich economies, and examining the factors influencing FDI and M&A in Sub Saharan Africa. .
Supported by the editorial team of the Mergermarket intelligence service, the event titled “M&A and Private Equity in Sub-Saharan Africa” is the 4th annual Africa forum from the Mergermarket group, and serves as a platform for corporates, private equity investors, senior bankers, investors and advisers to meet and discuss the major drivers behind international investor interest in Africa..
Mr. Akinkugbe who was the Keynote Speaker at the event, provided insights on the M&A landscape in Nigeria, within the context of its status as the largest economy in Africa. According to him, “Projections indicate that by 2025, one in five people in the world will be from Africa and the continent’s population will exceed that of Europe. This, combined with GDP growth and rising household income & purchasing power, continues to make Africa a very attractive market for investors”.
He went further to express enthusiasm about the trends in M&A in the region, explaining that in spite of the challenges inherent in a number of economies, recent data has shown that there is the opportunity to capitalize on the growing middle class. “Market participants expect increasing interest and activity by foreign investors and companies to be a key driver, and there have been an increasing number of African companies looking at regional expansion via inorganic routes””, Akinkugbe stated.
Discussions at the forum also sought to address questions about the M&A transaction pipeline heading towards 2015, as well as what sectors and regions are most targeted for buy-outs. The Head of Financial Advisory for FBN Capital, Mr. Afolabi Olorode, who spoke during a‘Dealmakers Outlook’ panel session said that they looked forward to a favorable outlook in the coming year for the region. He also gave insights into the sectors that investors should look to focus on for Nigeria based on the rate of growth recorded in the past two years stating that Manufacturing, Construction, Information Technology, Education and the Financial sectors are areas that have shown potential.
The Africa Inbound Forum is commended for providing attendees with forward-looking discussions and featuring expert dealmakers, advisors and members of corporate community. The event reviewed the current African deal market, with speakers providing expert insight into the M&A investment trends.