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A selection of African private equity deal, fundraising and exit announcements that came across our desk in March 2021.
Pan-African alternative investment firm EXEO Capital recently invested in South Africa’s Maia Group through its food and agribusiness fund, Agri-Vie Fund II. The Maia Group is a holding company focused on consumer health businesses and currently includes Wellness Warehouse and True Health Holdings.
African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM), one of Africa’s largest infrastructure-focused private equity fund managers, together with the management team of the new Onix Data Centres platform, have bought a majority stake in Ngoya Etix DC, a carrier-neutral data centre in Ghana.
Private equity firm Amethis has acquired a majority shareholding in Moroccan-based Magriser Group, one of the pioneers in the distribution and installation of turnkey micro-irrigation and solar pumping systems.
Kuda, a full-service, digital-only bank in Nigeria, has announced a $25 million series A funding round led by New York-based Valar Ventures, which was founded by Peter Thiel. The round also includes participation from existing investor Target Global, an international venture capital firm headquartered in Berlin, and several other existing investors.
Kenyan agency banking start-up Tanda has secured funding from HAVAÍC, Zedcrest Capital, DFS Lab, Victor Asemota and three more investors.
Tugende, a technology-enabled asset finance company in East Africa, has closed $3.6 million in additional equity financing. The round was led by Partech, with participation from Enza Capital and regionally based angel investors. The investment, which was agreed and structured in 2020, is an extension of Tugende’s series A, for which the first close was announced in September 2020, and led by Toyota Tsusho’s Mobility 54. This brings the total amount of equity capital raised for the series A to $9.9 million.
The IFC is considering an equity investment of up to $25 million in the Convergence Partners Digital Infrastructure Fund, an investment vehicle focused on sub-Saharan Africa. The fund is seeking $250 million in third-party commitments and will comprise two parallel funds in South Africa and Mauritius.
CardinalStone Capital Advisers, a Lagos based private equity fund manager, has announced the final close of its maiden private equity fund, the CardinalStone Capital Advisers Growth Fund LP (CCAGF) at $64 million. The fund which recorded its first close in December 2018 and final close in September 2020, was established to support the growth and institutionalisation of small and medium-sized enterprises operating in Nigeria and Ghana. CCAGF investors include Kuramo Capital, the UK Government’s CDC Group, FMO – the Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank, the IFC, the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority and a number of high-net-worth individuals.
The IFC has made a commitment to the Savannah Fund, which will invest in companies that support development at the bottom of the pyramid in sectors including fintech, education, logistics and e-commerce, healthcare and agtech. IFC led the fund’s first close by investing $3 million in the $25 million fundraising.
SunFunder has fully closed the oversubscribed $70 million Solar Energy Transformation (SET) Fund, following an investment by OeEB, the development bank of Austria. The fund is a blended finance vehicle focused on distributed solar and storage investments in Africa and Asia. The SET Fund has received investments from Swedfund, Bank of America, Mercy Investment Services, The Schmidt Family Foundation and several individual investors, including from the Toniic impact investor network. They followed anchor first close investors the US Development Finance Corporation (DFC), Calvert Impact Capital, Ceniarth and the IKEA Foundation.
Temasek, an investment company headquartered in Singapore, has entered into a $500 million strategic partnership with global impact investment group LeapFrog Investments. The partnership will take the form of a multi-fund investment by Temasek to anchor LeapFrog’s future funds.
Dutch development financier FMO is proposing a $20 million investment in the BluePeak Private Capital Fund, which aims to provide growth capital to small and medium companies in North, West and East Africa and up to 20% in the Levant. BluePeak targets to raise $200 million in commitments and will be managed by BluePeak Private Capital, which is a newly established fund manager with a head office in Tunisia.
Apis Growth Fund II, a private equity fund managed by Apis Partners, has entered into an agreement to sell the whole of its interest in third-party payments enabler Tutuka to SaltPay. The fund invested in Tutuka in August 2019, acquiring a 62.6% shareholding in the company. SaltPay is a provider of payments and value-add software solutions to Europe-based SMEs.
Criterion Africa Partners, a private equity firm investing in the forestry sector in sub-Saharan Africa, has announced that the forestry and sawmilling business of its portfolio company Peak Timbers has been acquired by Shiselweni Forestry Company Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the TWK Group. TWK is a local strategic buyer which trades on the ZARX stock exchange in South Africa. Peak is an integrated forest products company located in the Kingdom of Eswatini (formerly Swaziland).
Gulf Capital, a growth markets alternative investment firm, has revealed the full exit of its investment in ECDC, an oil and gas drilling and production services provider in the Middle East and Africa.