Criterion Africa Partners

Document Summary: 

Organizational profile: Criterion Africa Partners (CAP) is a private equity firm focused on investing the Sub-Saharan Africa forestry sector. Africa Forestry Fund I & II invest in sustainable forestry plantations and processing facilities with the aim to proactively lead the restructuring and development of African forestry and assist to fill the growing gap between the supply and demand of forestry products. The Funds hold portfolios of innovative forest management projects in rural areas of Africa, bringing a wide range of environmental, social and economic benefits to the surrounding communities. Criterion Africa Partners is an employee-owned investment management company that focuses exclusively on timber assets and downstream processing in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment is the founding shareholder of CAP. The team spun out of Global Environment Fund’s Africa Sustainable Forestry investment program in 2017. CAP invests in companies operating across the forestry value chain – from the forest resource to high value wood processing and biomass energy produced from wood waste.

Financing Instrument: Equity and structured finance

Project scale: Typical investments range from $5 million to $30 million

Recipient countries regions/country groups: CAP is capable if investing across Sub-Saharan Africa and is currently active in South Africa, Eswatini, Namibia, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Gabon.

Recipient categories: Businesses

Eligibility Criteria: Investment criteria include:
- Motivated management teams with meaningful ownership to ensure alignment of interests
- More than $5 million annual revenue with growth potential
- Strong customer relationships
- Squarely in the forestry sector - from the resource through to value creation/industrial processing and biomass energy
- Significant market opportunity

Application guidelines: CAP is interested in speaking with entrepreneurs, management teams and asset owners with companies operating across the entire forestry value chain and not solely in the forestry resource. Areas of interest include maturing greenfield plantations, industrial processing and biomass energy developers and integrators. Please contact George McPherson at

Publication Date
Wednesday, 10 March 2021
Applicable location
Private sector and industry
Forest conservation and management
Community forestry
Financing opportunities