Helios acquires Crown Agents Bank and Crown Agents Investment Management (Nigeria)

April 6, 2016


Helios Investors III, L.P., a fund advised by the Africa-focused private investment firm Helios Investment Partners, has completed the full acquisition of Crown Agents Bank Limited (CAB) and Crown Agents Investment Management Limited (CAIM), following the receipt of regulatory approvals.

The strategic acquisition will not affect existing client relationships CAB and CAIM, but will see Helios investment put in additional financial resources to better meet the growing needs of CAB and CAIM’s customers, and enable them to cement their positions as the leading wholesale bank and leading investment management firm for frontier and emerging markets, the company said in a statement.

CAB and CAIM provide payments, trade finance, foreign exchange and investment management services to frontier and emerging markets, primarily in Africa, the Caribbean and South-East Asia, and act as a commercial gateway for entities seeking to operate in these regions. They have been active since 1833, providing solutions to governments, non-government organisations, central banks, commercial banks, non-bank financial institutions, international companies, and pension and investment fund managers.

Speaking about the acquisition, Tope Lawani, co-founder and Managing Partner of Helios Investment Partners, said,“Helios is delighted to be partnering with CAB and CAIM’s experienced management team, and we look forward to bringing our African knowledge and financial services expertise to bear in realising the significant growth potential of these businesses.”

He added: “We share a vision to transform CAB into the leading wholesale bank for small and medium sized countries; and to transform CAIM into the leading investment management company for those operating in our markets, including central banks, commercial banks, non-bank financial institutions and investors looking to participate in frontier and emerging market growth.”

Richard Jones, managing director of CAB and CAIM, commented,“The acquisition brings together our trusted reputation and longstanding experience in small and medium sized countries with Helios’ deep knowledge of African markets and strong track record in adding value to its portfolio companies. A stronger capital base will allow us to enhance our services to existing and new clients during a time of widespread retreat by mainstream banks from emerging markets, enabling us to help our clients maximise their commercial opportunities.”

Giving his own reaction to the deal, David Richardson, CEO of Crown Agents, said, “This is a great opportunity for Crown Agents. CAB and CAIM will benefit from the capital and expertise that Helios can provide to help them to expand in the financial services market. Crown Agents Limited will be able to invest in and grow the broader areas of the business that make a positive and sustainable impact on the lives of people around the world.” Source: Asoko Insight