A new real estate and agriculture deal was signed by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), manager of Nigeria’s sovereign wealth fund, with South Africa’s Old Mutual Investment Group (OMIG). Under the deal, signed in Abuja at the weekend, NSIA will partner with South Africa’s OMIG UFF Agri-Fund to establish a $500 million real estate co-investment vehicle and a $200 million agriculture co-investment vehicle.

On the significance of the agreement, Orji said: “The real estate and agriculture sectors offer considerable potential for economic growth in Nigeria. The real estate vehicle once created alongside the agriculture vehicle will be configured to address some of these issues. Our commitment in these sectors is underpinned by the economic imperatives of urbanisation, population growth and enhancement of liquidity for the sectors.  The NSIA will continue to serve as a catalyst for private sector involvement in key sectors of the economy by exploring partnerships with credible entities such as Old Mutual Investment Group and UFF Agri-Fund.”

NSIA’s Managing Director, Uche Orji said the deal would cover retail assets, especially office buildings.

He said: “(For that of agriculture), both parties will make commitments for an initial vehicle size of $50 million ahead of the targeted size of up to $200 million, with deal origination and execution to be undertaken jointly by NSIA and UFF Agri-Fund. The aim of the agreement is to improve Nigeria’s food security and promote rural economic development to capitalise on the growing opportunities that the Nigerian agricultural industry provides.”

“The objective is to invest $500 million in commercial and retail assets, especially office buildings and hospitality facilities. The vehicle is expected to have initial commitments of up to $100 million each from NSIA and Old Mutual and is targeting a total commitment size of $500 million with deal origination and execution to be undertaken jointly by both parties.

OMIG CEO, Diane Radley, said the partnership with NSIA is a critical step in the development of OMIG’s commercial real estate and agriculture strategies in Africa.

“As the largest manager of real assets in Africa, we have a deep belief in the opportunities in agricultural and real estate investment across the African continent. Our dealings with agriculture as an asset class have shown that it has already gained huge momentum globally but is still in its infancy in Africa. This presents a significant investment opportunity for both local and international investors,” she said.

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