Helios Investment Partners LLP plans to raise a fund of about $1.25 billion to invest across the continent. The London-based company, led by Tope Lawani and Babatunde Soyoye, is in talks with asset managers and development agencies about what would be its largest private equity fund for African investments, the people said, asking not to be named because the discussions are private. Helios could start the fund this year, but is no rush to do so, the company, which manages about $3.6 billion, closed a $1.1 billion Africa-focused fund in 2015 after exceeding a $1 billion target. Yet, foreign interest in Africa has been fickle. New York-based Blackstone Group LP is scaling back in Africa after less than five years and Bob Diamond, the former Barclays Plc chief, is turning his attention elsewhere after struggling to get his banking venture off the ground.