8 December 2000

Africa: OPIC Puts Out Call For New Proposals To Manage Africa Infrastructure Fund

Washington, DC — The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) is seeking new management for its $350m Africa Infrastructure Fund.

Most of the fund is guaranteed by OPIC, but a portion of the $350m fund must be unguaranteed private equity.

In 1999, New Africa Advisors, a subsidiary of the Durham, North Carolina-based Sloan Management Group led by Maceo K. Sloan was selected to manage the fund over several competitors. The Sloan group has, however, failed to raise the equity.

It is the second OPIC Africa fund Sloan has lost. Three months ago the Sloan group was forced to surrender management of the New Africa Opportunity Fund after an OPIC investigation uncovered "substantial abuses" in the fund's management and investment practices, according to one Congressional aide who asked not to be identified.

Calls to New Africa Advisors were not returned.

A new deadline of December 29 has been set for submitting proposals for managing the infrastructure fund. An OPIC statement describes four "major criteria" in selecting a manager for the fund.

* ability to raise capital

* private equity management

* a broad record of infrastructure investment

* experience in sub-saharan Africa

OPIC hopes that the fund will leverage about $2bn for basic infrastructure needs.


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