CDC renamed BII

UK’s CDC has finalised its renaming British International Investment (BII) – with plans to also  invest up to about $13.3 billion (£10 billion) in the five years to 2026.

CDC is rebranding to reflect its new strategy, which includes expanding its coverage in Asia. The development financier, which works in 5-year cycles, plans to invest between £1.5 billion and £2 billion per year, in the five years to 2026.

The name change was first announced by the UK’s foreign secretary Liz Truss in 2021 and was set to be effected in April 2022.

This new CDC strategy will see it return to South East Asia, particularly Vietnam, Cambodia, and the Philippines.

The development financier pulled out of South East Asia, China, and Latin America in 2011, to focus on sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

CDC has invested about £7 billion across emerging markets and mobilised an additional £2.5 billion, in the last five years – since 2016.

The development financier invested £1.22 billion in its existing markets in 2020, a 26.5% drop from the £1.66 billion it invested in 2019.

In 2020, Africa took up 60% or £732 million of the total allocations, with South Asia taking up 31% or £378.2 million. The remaining 9% or £109.8 million went to the rest of the world regions.

As part of its strategy, CDC, now BII, will also focus on large-scale digital infrastructure and early-stage venture capital strategies.

In 2021, CDC added Amadeus Capital Partners’ chief executive officer (CEO), Anne Glover to its venture capital investment committee, as it works to grow its deal making in the space.

“Today is an incredibly significant one in the history of our company. British International Investment will build on CDC’s legacy by inheriting its unparalleled experience of impact investing and deep-rooted knowledge of the markets in which it invests,’’ said Nick O’Donohoe, chief executive officer at BII. “We will continue to solve the biggest global development challenges by investing patient, flexible capital to support private sector growth and innovation.’’

As part of the new strategy, CDC has also appointed Diana Layfield, as its new chair.

She takes over from Graham Wrigley, who will complete nine years at the helm in 2022. He took on the position in 2013.

This comes after CDC also announced plans to inject over £2 billion in African companies in the two years to 2022.

Recent direct deals in Africa include a $40 million follow-on investment in Liquid Telecom, its Mauritius-based telecommunications portfolio company – sealed in 2020.

The development financier also backed a $750 million healthcare investment platform focused on the pharmaceuticals space, across Africa, injecting $100 million in 2020.

Earlier in 2020, CDC also committed $100 million to Helios Investment Partners’ fourth pan-African generalist vehicle, Helios Investors IV (Helios IV), which is targeting $1.25 billion at final close.