Cape Town and Washington DC, 8 September 2021: Old Mutual Alternative Investments (OMAI), Africa’s largest alternative investment manager, acting through its subsidiary, African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM), is pleased to announce its joint venture partnership with Augment Infrastructure Partners, founded by Viktor Kats and Darius Lilaoonwala, to launch Augment Infrastructure Managers LLC (Augment). The partnership has been anchored by the Old Mutual Group, and marks OMAI’s expansion into infrastructure equity investments in emerging markets outside of Africa, with an initial focus on Asia and Latin America.
Augment will invest in mid-market growth infrastructure platforms across emerging markets in the renewable energy, water, digital infrastructure and transport sectors. The partnership will focus on backing established companies in these sectors that are looking to accelerate their growth.
Viktor Kats and Darius Lilaoonwala were previously joint heads of the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) Global Infrastructure Fund of the IFC Asset Management Company, part of the World Bank Group, where they were responsible for raising and deploying USD1.2bn of capital across infrastructure investments focused on power, water, telecommunications and transportation companies. Previously Viktor Kats and Darius Lilaoonwala worked together investing in infrastructure debt and equity in more than 40 countries across Latin America, Africa, Asia, Southern Europe and the Middle East.
Olusola Lawson, co-Head of Infrastructure Equity at Old Mutual Alternative Investments and co-MD at AIIM, commented: “The Augment principals possess deep knowledge of emerging markets through multiple economic and political cycles, and we look forward to collaborating on attractive mid-market investment opportunities. We share Augment’s bullish sentiment on emerging markets and the fundamental trends driving their growth – most notably increased urbanisation, decarbonisation and technological innovation – making them attractive investment destinations.”
In August 2021, Augment concluded its first investment, acquiring a majority stake in CleanMax, one of India’s largest providers of renewable energy solutions to commercial and industrial customers, which include Amazon, Cargill Foods, Volvo, Tata Group, Mahindra Group, Grasim and others. Augment acquired stakes from Warburg Pincus and the IFC, as well as committing additional capital to support CleanMax’s growth strategy.
Viktor Kats, Managing Partner of Augment, added: “Old Mutual is one of the most reputable financial institutions in Africa, as well as one of the leading investors in African infrastructure through its subsidiary, AIIM. AIIM was an obvious partner for us – they are a like-minded investor that understands emerging markets infrastructure, has a solid reputation in the industry and strong investment track record across Augment’s target sectors. AIIM was looking to expand beyond its core region, which is where the Augment team has its expertise.”