Africa Deal Roundup: 15 noteworthy deals and announcements in January
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A selection of private equity deal, fundraising and exit announcements that came across our desk in January 2020.
AfricInvest, a pan-African private equity platform, announced a new partnership with Masria Digital Payment (MDP) through its Maghreb Private Equity Fund IV. Established in 2003 as Masria Card S.A.E, MDP is the leading Egyptian and African smart and payment card solutions provider. It boasts the largest market share in its home market, Egypt, and has an extensive presence across the African continent, in more than 35 countries.
African Infrastructure Investment Managers invested $54 million to acquire minority interests in Nigerian gas assets majority-owned by Savannah Petroleum Plc. The transaction comprises 1) a 20% stake in Seven Uquo Gas Limited, the entity that holds an interest in the Uquo gas field located in South East Nigeria, and 2) a further 20% stake in Accugas, the integrated processing and distribution infrastructure for Uquo gas.
Sendy, which connects individuals and businesses to third party delivery drivers, has raised a $20 million series B investment round led by Atlantica Ventures, according to a TechCrunch report. Sendy, headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, was the first company to offer an on-demand delivery platform in the region and while it currently covers Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, it plans to cover all East Africa in the near future.
The Ezdehar Egypt Mid-Cap Fund completed the acquisition of a strategic stake in Rich Food Industries, a convenience food producer focused on the chilled and frozen animal protein segment in Egypt, including beef, poultry and turkey.
TLG Capital further increased the size of its Atlas Mara facility by $20 million via its Credit Opportunities Fund. This is in addition to the current $10 million facility TLG has with the banking group, funded in January 2019.
Flutterwave, a San Francisco-based payments technology company with operations in Africa, closed a $35 million series B round from a consortium of strategic investors. The round was co-led by Greycroft and eVentures with additional participation from CRE Venture Capital, FIS, VISA, Endeavour and Green Visor. Flutterwave connects the African continent to the world at large by providing payment solutions for businesses around the globe.
CDC Group, the UK’s publicly owned impact investor, has committed $39.2 million to support SMEs in West Africa. CDC is backing Verod Fund III and Adiwale Fund I, West-African based private equity funds targeting SMEs in the region, with commitments of $19.2 million and $20 million respectively.
J.P. Morgan has announced the creation of the J.P. Morgan Development Finance Institution (DFI) to expand its development-oriented financing activities in emerging markets. Leading J.P. Morgan’s new effort is Faheen Allibhoy, a seasoned manager and investment professional with deep experience in emerging markets and development finance. Allibhoy had an 18-year career at the International Finance Corporation, most recently as country manager responsible for operations and client relationships in West Africa.
Dutch development bank FMO invested $7.5 million in the Acumen Resilient Agriculture Fund (ARAF). Impact investment firm Acumen established ARAF to support smallholder farmers to enhance their livelihoods and climate resilience. The fund (with a target size of $50 million) will provide financing and technical support to early-stage and early-growth agribusinesses.
Lateral Capital, a venture capital fund focused on sub-Saharan Africa, has exceeded its initial closing target of $20 million for its Lateral Investment Partners I fund after accepting its first LP commitment in early 2018. Institutional investors and family offices across the US, Europe, Middle East and Africa participated in the fund which has a final close target of $50 million.
IDH, the sustainable trade initiative, in coalition with Unilever, Jacobs DE, Mondelez and Rabobank, launched the world’s biggest ever impact fund for smallholder farmer finance. Starting with €100 million, the IDH Farmfit Fund is expected to catalyse up to €1 billion of commercial investments into smallholder farmers in developing countries. The Farmfit Fund will catalyse investments into ESG impact by taking the highest risk positions in deals that directly improve smallholders’ livelihoods in Africa, Asia or Latin America.
CDC Group has announced a €25 million commitment to Mediterrania Capital Partners III (MCP III), a generalist fund primarily targeting investments in North Africa. CDC’s investment will enable MCP III to invest in companies that have strong local brands and established customer bases, with the potential to become regional leaders and achieve further revenue growth and operational efficiencies.
American Tower Corporation has closed its previously announced acquisition of private equity-backed Eaton Towers, adding approximately 5,700 communications sites to its African portfolio. Total consideration for the acquisition, subject to certain post-closing adjustments, was approximately $1.85 billion, including the assumption of existing Eaton Towers debt. Eaton Towers was backed by Development Partners International (DPI), Capital Group, Ethos Private Equity and Standard Chartered Private Equity, which all exited their stakes.
AfricInvest, through its Maghreb Private Equity Fund III, has exited its investment in Polymedic, a pharmaceutical manufacturing company headquartered in Casablanca, Morocco, which owns a diverse portfolio of over 200 registered products across 12 therapeutic areas. NBK Capital Partners – an alternative investments firm that provides flexible growth capital to mid-sized companies in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey – has acquired AfricInvest’s stake.
Bamboo Capital Partners, the impact investing platform, exited its indirect stake in one of the leading microfinance banks in Nigeria, Accion Microfinance Bank (Accion MfB). Bamboo’s shareholding in Accion MfB will now be held by global nonprofit and financial inclusion pioneer Accion. The financial details of this transaction are undisclosed.