Oppenheimer, Temasek in African private equity JV — Reuters

South Africa’s E. Oppenheimer family and Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings have set up a $300 million private equity fund to invest primarily in consumer goods and agricultural sectors across Africa.

The 50/50 joint venture named Tana Africa Capital will target Africa’s growing young population and also focus on agricultural production and processing of farm produce.

“The initial capital commitment is $300 million, so 150 from each partner,” James Teeger, group managing director at E. Oppenheimer & Son, told Reuters.

“We felt that was an appropriate amount to help the team make five to six investments over the next few years.”

The joint venture will also look at media, education and healthcare across Africa, but not to the same extent as the consumer and agriculture sectors.

Teeger said the fund would focus on larger economies on the continent, but would not shy away from opportunities that crop up in smaller economies.

He declined to say when Tana Africa hoped to close its first investment but said that is has a strong deal pipeline.

Africa is seen as an increasingly attractive investment destination, thanks to its abundant resources, fast-growing population and rising personal incomes.

Siemens AG said last year it aimed to invest $254 million in Africa by 2012.

Washington D.C.-based private equity group Carlyle said in March it was entering sub-Saharan Africa, targeting investments in consumer goods, financial services, agriculture and infrastructure.