Synergy Private Equity Fund

Nigeria, Ghana Others, Communications and IT Services, Health, Financial services, Manufacturing, Food and agriculture, Infrastructure

Synergy Capital Managers (Synergy) is a private equity firm that specialises in expansion, growth capital, and management buyouts and buy-ins of high-growth companies in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

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

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

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 aspects

We worked closely with the fund manager to develop and implement an Environmental and Social Management System (ESMS) for this first-time fund.

Key facts


Since 2012, we’ve only invested in Africa and South Asia. Investments outside these regions are from our pre-2012 portfolio.

Africa, West Africa

We have seven priority sectors. However, we continue to invest outside these sectors, largely in the most challenging regions, as new investment supporting any sector helps to underpin the private sector, and create jobs and livelihoods for people. For funds, the sectors listed here are those the fund has invested in so far.

Communications and IT Services, Financial services, Food and agriculture, Health, Infrastructure, Manufacturing, Others
Investment type

We provide capital in three broad ways: direct equity, debt, and intermediated equity (principally through investment funds).

Intermediated investment
Fund manager:
Synergy Managers (Mauritius) Limited
Start date

For direct investments, this is the date British International Investment committed capital to the business or project.

For funds, this is the date that British International Investment committed capital to the fund.

For underlying fund investments, this is the date that the fund invested capital into the business.e

September 2014

For direct investments, this is the total amount that British International Investment has committed to the business or project (it may be a combination of equity and debt).

For funds, this is the total amount that British International Investment has committed to the fund.


This is the investee company’s place of incorporation; or a fund’s jurisdiction.


Investments made by this fund

  • Active
  • Exited
Investment name Country Region Sector Start date Status
Netplus Strategy and Sales Limited (“NetPlus”)

Netplus is an e-services company which began operations in 2012. It is focused on e-commerce, e-payments and e-infrastructure in Nigeria where it operates one of the largest online storefronts.

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Nigeria Africa, West Africa Communications and IT Services February 2015 Active
Riggs Ventures (West Africa) Ltd

Riggs Ventures (West Africa) Limited is a manufacturer of polypropylene woven sacks used for packing and transporting cement and other agricultural and food products (eg flour, rice and poultry feed).

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Nigeria Africa, West Africa Manufacturing June 2015 Active
Viathan Engineering Limited

Viathan Engineering Limited develops captive and embedded power solutions and distributes generated power to governmental, commercial and residential off-takers in the Lagos metropolis and across Nigeria, using natural gas as fuel.

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Nigeria Africa, West Africa Infrastructure August 2015 Active
Curist Pharma (formerly Darl Pharmaceuticals Ltd)

Curist is a fast growing pharmaceutical company with wholesale, retail and chemical manufacturing divisions in Ghana.

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Ghana Africa, West Africa Health November 2015 Active
Africa Terminaling Company Ltd

Africa Terminaling Company is a spin-off of DuPort Marine; a petroleum trading company with over 8 years’ experience of operation in the Nigerian downstream sector and across the gulf of Guinea.

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Nigeria Africa, West Africa Others February 2016 Active
Suburban Fiber Company Ltd (“FiberCo”)

Suburban Fiber Company (“FibreCo”) is a fibre-based broadband and content services.

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Nigeria Africa, West Africa Communications and IT Services March 2016 Active
Vester Oil Mills Limited

Vester Oil Mills is one of the top five oil seed mill operators in Ghana and specialises in the processing of soya bean, palm kernel nut and copra (dried coconut kernel) into refined edible oils and their residual cakes for domestic and industrial use.

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Ghana Africa, West Africa Food and agriculture September 2016 Active
People Productivity Solutions

People Productivity Solution (PPS), formerly MSY Analytics, is a technology-driven professional services firm focused on increasing corporate human capital productivity and organizational positioning within companies operating in various sectors.

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Nigeria Africa, West Africa Communications and IT Services November 2016 Active
Northstar Financial Services Ltd

Northstar Financial Services Ltd is a financial services platform with interest in Commercial Banking, Mortgage, Insurance and Asset Management in Nigeria and Ghana.

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Nigeria Africa, West Africa Financial services December 2016 Active
Cloud Exchange West Africa Limited

Cloud Exchange is an ICT service provider. It is investing in infrastructure to enable it to provide cloud enabled products such as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS). Cloud Exchange is building the first ever Tier IV Data Centres in Nigeria and Ghana as well as local cloud points of presence in both countries.

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Africa, West Africa Communications and IT Services April 2017 Active

We are now British International Investment