Executives running the mid-market fund of South Africa-headquartered private equity firm Ethos have spun out to create a new investment firm, Infinite Partners.
Infinite Partners will continue to manage Ethos Mid-Market Fund I, which raised ZAR2.5 billion in capital commitments four years ago. This fund has nine active investments: Autozone, Crossfin Technology, Eazi Group, Echotel, Gammatek, Kevro, MTNZF (special purpose vehicle), Synerlytic, and Twinsaver.
The team is in an advanced stage of discussion to make the last investment from the fund that would complete full deployment.
Meanwhile, the new PE firm will commence independent operations and capital raising to focus on a wider spectrum of investment strategies. Its founding partners—comprising Edward Pitsi (CEO), Titi Sekhukhune (Partner), and Tabane Matheolane (Partner)—have worked together for over a decade. They led or jointly led 10 portfolio company investments, plus played meaningful roles on four exits, across other funds.
The firm also comprises Naomi Nethengwe, who has been promoted as a principal, as part of the founding team of Infinite Partners.
Anchored in South Africa, Infinite Partners sees an opportunity to invest multi-strategy funds to span the African continent and beyond. Infinite focusses on mid-market, growth investments, typically between ZAR100 million and ZAR1.5 billion in enterprise value.
“The team and I shared an ambition to be more independent and pursue diverse investment strategies, including long dated capital. Beyond our commitment to existing portfolio investments, we are well poised to commence the process of speaking with investors to realise a number of new fund mandates which will incorporate long-dated capital, traditional, and specialist funds,” said Pitsi.
Stuart MacKenzie, Ethos CEO, said: “This initiative is a continuation of Ethos’ long history of supporting black-owned managers. We remain committed to growing the local private equity industry and we will continue to invest in South Africa through multiple, complimentary strategies. At the same time, Ethos is a multi-fund platform with a significant presence across Africa and it will continue to pursue growth and diversification opportunities for its product offering and geographic footprint.”
Ethos will own 25% of Infinite Partners and have board representation.
Since inception, Ethos’ Large Equity Funds have completed 111 investments and exited 98 and Ethos Mezzanine Partners have concluded 28 investments and exited 25.
This marks another such spinout after Carlyle’s Africa unit spun out to create Alterra Capital. Another former Carlyle executive Marlon Chigwende has created a separate PE firm Admaius.