Carlyle Group (CG), an American-based global asset management firm, has invested $147 million in Diamond Bank Plc as part of its expansion in Nigeria.
Carlyle, the world’s second-largest manager of investment alternatives to stocks and bonds, bought the stake through its sub-Saharan Africa Fund in the recent rights issue that was issued by Diamond Bank, the bank revealed in a statement obtained from the Nigerian Stock Exchange website.
The investment, the first by Carlyle in Africa’s biggest oil producer, would give it a stake of about 18 per cent in Diamond Bank if the transaction is approved by regulators, Catherine Armstrong, a spokeswoman for the Washington-based firm, said.
The Carlyle fund has invested almost $300 million in sub-Saharan countries, including Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo since 2011, Diamond Bank said. The bank sold shares in August as it sought to raise N50.4 billion for investment in infrastructure, branch expansion and lending.
“Investment by the company is a testament of the bank’s strong brand and success over the years, particularly in the Retail/SME space,” Uzoma Dozie, group managing director/chief executive officer (Designate) of Diamond Bank, said. He also expressed confidence that they would bring unique values to their involvement with the bank, which would be fruitful and beneficial to all stakeholders. “Diamond Bank stands to benefit from Carlyle’s extensive network of financial services specialists as it continues to strengthen its market position, expand commercial and retail offerings, and further enhance operations,” he added.
Carlyle Group has $203 billion of assets under management, Diamond Bank said. New York-based Blackstone Group LP is the largest alternative-asset manager.