British International Investment

Synergy Private Equity Fund

GhanaNigeriaWest AfricaAfricaCommunications & IT servicesConsumer - HealthFinancial servicesFood & AgricultureInfrastructureManufacturingOther

The Synergy Private Equity Fund (SPEF), a $103.5 million fund, is the first fund to be raised by the Lagos and Accra-based team. 

The fund looks to make investments in small to medium sized companies in sectors such as manufacturing, agro-processing, FMCG, non-bank financial services, healthcare, ICT and energy services. Individual investment sizes are likely to range between $5 million to $15 million.

This investment was made when British International Investment was named CDC Group.

Our investment

Description of the investment.

In 2014, CDC played a crucial role in the fund formation and committed $15 million to SPEF, as a cornerstone investor alongside the EIB and the IFC. Our investment supports the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria and Ghana. It also helps the fund manager raise capital from other investors.

Expected impact

Expected impact of investments made between 2012 and 2018. From 2019 onwards, we have published a fuller set of impact information, assessing each investment against six dimensions of impact.

The IFC estimates that over 95 per cent of Nigerian businesses are SMEs. Most bank loans are issued to large corporates, with less than 1 per cent of loans disbursed to SMEs. Instead, these firms often rely on informal financing. 

In Ghana, SMEs provide about 85 per cent of manufacturing jobs, and account for around 90 per cent of businesses. Ghanaian SMEs are mostly family-owned and were typically small and fragmented. Access to capital remains a constraint and any finance available for SMEs is typically short-term and expensive.

By enabling these small companies to grow from a local presence to a regional, or even continental, level and scale their activities, our investment helps the fund manager to create new jobs, generate taxes and fuel economic growth in both Nigeria and Ghana. The fund manager also provides strategic and technical assistance to investee companies to support their expansion.

Environmental and social information

  • Environmental and social summary

    A high-level description of the environmental and social aspects of the investment. This may include a summary of key environmental and social risks identified during environmental and social due diligence (ESDD); key elements of an environmental and social action plan (ESAP); or ways in which we plan to support the investee improve environmental and social standards, such as through their environmental and social management system (ESMS); as well as any other priority areas agreed with the investee.

  • Environmental and social risk

    A risk category rating, which indicates the level of environmental and social risk associated with an investment. For an explanation of the categorisations used, see here. We consistently provide an environmental and social risk category for all investments screened from 2023 onwards.

Environmental and social summary

We worked closely with the fund manager to develop and implement an ESMS for this first-time fund.

Reporting and Complaints Mechanism

The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism allows anyone outside BII to report alleged breaches of the business integrity or environmental and social provisions of BII’s Policy on Responsible Investing. This includes breaches made by BII, a BII investee, or a portfolio company of a fund in which BII has invested. The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism Rules are available here. Reports and complaints can be submitted by email to [email protected] or by mail. See more details on our Reporting and Complaints Mechanism here.

For any other general enquiries contact us at [email protected]

  • Key facts

    Last updated

    When the last quarterly update of the website database occurred.

    June 2024
    Project number

    An identifier number shared by investments in the same project.


    The current status of the investment (green flag for active and red flag for exited).


    The geographical region where the country is located. We currently invest in Africa, South Asia, South East Asia and the Caribbean. In 2023, BII’s investment mandate was extended allowing it to invest in regional funds linked to Ukraine, with the majority of activity expected to begin post-war. Investments outside these regions were made prior to 2012 under previous investment mandates.


    We prioritise those sectors that facilitate development and need our capital the most. Our priority sectors contribute towards many of the Sustainable Development Goals. They range from investing in the power infrastructure that will provide people with better access to electricity, to investing in financial institutions that direct capital to the individuals and businesses that need it the most.

    Communications & IT services, Consumer - Health, Financial services, Food & Agriculture, Infrastructure, Manufacturing, Other

    We provide capital in the following ways: directly – through direct equity, direct debt, guarantees and other non-intermediated financial instruments; and indirectly – principally through investment funds.

    For direct investments and fund investments, this is the date BII committed capital to the investments. This is typically the date on which legal agreements are signed by all parties.

    For the portfolio companies of our fund investments, this is the date (either the month or the quarter) on which the fund committed capital to the portfolio company.

    For direct equity investments, this is the date at which British International Investment exited the investment.

    For debt investments, this is the date at which the final debt repayment was made.

    For funds, this is the date at which the fund was terminated.

    For underlying fund investments, this is the date at which the fund manager exited the investment.

    The total amount committed, per financial instrument, per investment, on the date BII becomes subject to a binding legal obligation to provide funding or assume a contingent liability. This information is provided in US dollars.

    For direct investments, this is the amount that BII has committed to the business or project. For fund investments, this is the amount BII has committed to the fund.

    The currency in which the investment was made.

    Investment type :
    Start date :
    April 2015
    Amount :
    Currency of investment :
    Fund Manager:
    Synergy Managers (Mauritius) Limited

    The company or investment fund’s place of incorporation.


Related investments made by BII into this fund:

Investment name Commitment Region Sector Start date Status
Investment 01 $10m Africa Communications & IT services, Consumer - Health, Financial services, Food & Agriculture, Infrastructure, Manufacturing, Other September 2014 Active

Investments made by this fund into companies:

For further information about these companies, visit

Investment name Country Region Sector Start date Status
Africa Terminaling Company Ltd Nigeria West Africa Other February 2016 Active
Cloud Exchange West Africa Limited West Africa Africa Communications & IT services April 2017 Active
Curist Pharma Ghana West Africa Consumer - Health November 2015 Active
Netplus Strategy and Sales Limited (“NetPlus”) Nigeria West Africa Communications & IT services February 2015 Exited
Northstar Financial Services Ltd Nigeria West Africa Financial services December 2016 Exited
People Productivity Solutions Nigeria West Africa Communications & IT services November 2016 Active
Riggs Ventures (West Africa) Ltd Nigeria West Africa Manufacturing June 2015 Exited
Suburban Fiber Company Ltd (“FiberCo”) Nigeria West Africa Communications & IT services March 2016 Exited
Vester Oil Mills Limited Ghana West Africa Food & Agriculture September 2016 Active
Viathan Engineering Limited Nigeria West Africa Infrastructure August 2015 Active

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