Thursday, November 18, 2010

US investors bring $100bn to Nigeria in search of opportunities

The current drive by the Federal Government to attract foreign investors has begun to yield fruits, following the arrival of a group of US investors who are set to inject no less than $100 billion into the economy. This amount, according to the visiting American investors who are targeting diverse business interests in the country and also looking to negotiate deals between Nigeria and other US investors, could be raised, depending on the nature of the business and structuring.
With this development, the financial services, oil, gas and power, infrastructure and real estate, transportation, telecom, and technology sectors are expected to witness a boost from the amount already set aside.
Not a few analysts BusinessDay spoke with yesterday said the move will complement similar recent visits of investors from Singapore, Brazil and Vietnam.
Led by Discoverypoint Holdings (Group) LLC - a private equity, advisory and trade finance company, the group will essentially provide information on existing opportunities in the country so as to make available venture, expansion and strategic capital for development.
The team, which visited BusinessDay's corporate office Wednesday to explain more about the investment, said: "Our transaction types and sizes include venture capital ($0.5million to $5million), expansion Capital ($10million and above), strategic capital ($25million and above)."
According to Chris Oribabor, chief executive officer of Discoverypoint, there is the absence of visibility of Nigerian markets /products particularly in the US market, adding therefore, the need to bring investors to Nigeria to see things for themselves "so as to create a meeting point for business deals".
Explaining further, Oribabor said: "Our focus is to build and foster relationships within the high demand sectors in the African market by bringing the full range of our market knowledge, transaction expertise and strategic advice to assist our clients as they make key decisions about their company or transactions. We focus on assisting our clients get maximum value during our engagement. We measure the success of our process by the results produced for our clients."
He went on: "There are no limits in terms of what we do. We have unlimited potential -human capital and resources. We are hoping to fill the gap in terms of some identified challenges facing investors coming into Nigeria, including American investors. There is need for more awareness in terms of the opportunities here in Nigeria."
Discoverypoint, he continued, has a pool of funds of over $100 billion "which can be more since this depends on the nature of business and structuring."
Discoverpoint Holdings is a private equity holding company with an operating focus in the markets of sub-Saharan Africa.  From its early beginnings in 2005 as DT Global Enterprises Limited, trading and advisory firm focused on Africa, Discoverpoint is now at the forefront of the largest emerging markets as Discoverpoint Holdings (group) LLC.  Through the firm's holding companies, it provides trade finance, advisory, investment banking, asset management and private equity solutions with a vision to be the conduit that connects the global market to sub-Saharan Africa.
The company operates in the following sectors: financial services, infrastructure and real estate, oil and gas, power, transportation, agriculture, healthcare and telecommunication, technology, heavy equipment businesses particularly haulage, and heavy asset financing.
For Disscoverypoint, "the perception about Nigeria has changed on our coming to the country… business and social environment is not as chaotic as portrayed, and neither is corruption peculiar to Nigeria".