Africa Deal Roundup: 15 noteworthy deals and announcements in July
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A selection of African private equity deal, fundraising and exit announcements that came across our desk in July 2019.
Mediterrania Capital Partners has announced the acquisition, through its third fund, MC III, of a stake in Aziza, a private Tunisian company operating in the food retail sector. The transaction was achieved in partnership with Ekuity Capital, a Tunisian-Kuwaiti investment company. Aziza is one of the top four supermarket chains in Tunisia with 250 shops located across the country.
XSML, the fund manager active in Central and East Africa, closed an investment, through its African Rivers Fund, in Ice Industries. Based in Uganda, Ice Industries is a producer of flake ice, which is used mainly to keep fresh produce cold and is an essential element for the fishing sector.
EXEO Capital’s Agri-Vie Fund II concluded the subscription for a significant minority shareholding in PPHL. PPHL’s fully-owned Tanzanian subsidiary, PPTL, is a regional leader in the production of woven polymer-based extruded products, including bags, sacks and tarpaulins for the agriculture and cement industries.
The InsuResilience Investment Fund, set up on behalf of the German government by KfW and managed by Swiss-based impact investment manager BlueOrchard Finance, will be acquiring a 39.25% stake in Lagos-based Royal Exchange General Insurance Company Limited, one of the largest non-life insurance companies in Nigeria.
Investec Asset Management has completed its first private equity investment in Egypt by acquiring control of Spinneys Egypt, a rapidly growing supermarket chain. The business is one of the leading grocery retail players in Egypt, having expanded to a current footprint of 13 outlets, comprising two hypermarkets and 11 supermarkets.
The Yield Uganda Investment Fund, managed by Pearl Capital Partners, has made its fifth investment in Uganda by committing UGX3.9bn ($1.1 million) to Raintree Farms Limited, a pioneer agri enterprise specialising in the production and processing of organic moringa. The products are sold to the nutritional, beauty and health markets both in Uganda and internationally.
South African footwear retailer Footgear – backed by Old Mutual Private Equity (OMPE) – has acquired the Edgars Active and High Key chain stores, divisions of the Edcon Group, and leading retailers of branded sport and lifestyle footwear, clothing and accessories. The acquisition was funded by growth capital provided by OMPE.
AHL Venture Partners, an impact investment firm in East Africa, concluded an equity investment in a Kenyan company Cropnuts. The investment is a co-investment with DOB Equity. Cropnuts is an independent, fully integrated, ISO 17025 accredited agricultural laboratory and agronomy services company in East Africa.
Verod Capital Management has announced an interim close of Verod Fund III at $150 million, exceeding the size of its predecessor fund, Verod Fund II. The investment strategy for Verod Fund III is to focus on SMEs in anglophone West Africa, with the aim of building a diverse portfolio across several fast-developing industries.
Kenya-based investment firm Centum, listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange, has announced plans to launch a dedicated private equity fund that will be open to outside investors. Centum will be a limited partner (LP) in the fund and other LPs will also be invited to invest. A newly registered entity, Centum Capital Partners, will manage the fund as a general partner.
The European Investment Bank has approved a $20 million equity investment in Okavango Fund L.P., an impact fund aiming to generate commercial returns, nature conservation and rural livelihood improvements by investing in SMEs in East and Southern Africa. The fund will target investments in the food security, climate technologies, and domestic nature tourism sectors across Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia.
4Di Capital, a South African venture capital fund manager, recently launched 4Di Capital Fund III, with the SA SME Fund as the initial anchor investor to help advance the local tech startup ecosystem. Fund III’s mandate includes early- and growth-stage investments into startups in the fintech, insuretech, healthtech, edutech and agritech spaces as well as other tech verticals. The first close of Fund III is R130 million ($9.3 million), but it will remain open to other qualified or institutional investors for a limited period.
Actis has acquired BioTherm – a South Africa-based, pan-African renewable energy business – from Denham Capital, a global private equity firm. Following the transaction, BioTherm’s current CEO, Jasandra Nyker, will step up to join Denham Capital, while the rest of the management team will remain in place. Scott Mackin, partner at Denham Capital, said: “BioTherm’s success is a testament to both Denham’s investment strategy of building world-class companies and Jasandra’s commendable leadership. Despite 60% currency depreciation during our hold period, we’ve delivered solid returns, as represented to our investors.”
Nigeria-based payments company Interswitch, backed by Helios, is planning a stock market listing in London and Lagos later this year, says a Bloomberg report. According to Bloomberg, the IPO may value the company at $1.3 billion to $1.5 billion. In December 2010, an investor group led by Helios agreed on the acquisition of a majority equity interest in Interswitch, the largest payment processing service provider in Nigeria.
African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM) is upbeat about the opportunities in Nigeria’s power sector. AIIM has successfully exited the Azura-Edo Power Plant in Nigeria, which, according to the firm, provided strong returns for the fund’s investors. AIIM recently also announced the final close of its flagship pan-African infrastructure fund, AIIF3, which raised $320 million.