Last week in brief… There was a flurry of private equity investment activity in Africa last week, although in each of them both the valuation and the terms of the deals were undisclosed. Advanced Finance & Investment Group or AFIG took a stake in Accra-based real estate developer Primrose Properties. The capital will help Primrose fund its current pipeline of development projects as well as bring its mixed-use Rhombus development in Kanda to completion. Founded in 2006, Primrose Properties is a special purpose vehicle that develops, holds and invests in high-quality real estate assets. According to the firm’s website, it counts major oil and gas corporations, foreign multinationals and the diplomatic corps among its clients.

Another notable piece of deal news was the announcement that Coast2Coast’s consumer goods platform Bounty Brands has acquired 100% of Musgrave Agencies, a designer, importer and distributor of quality apparel brands, from private shareholders in an all-cash deal. Musgrave, headquartered in Durban, was founded in 1985 and now has more than 100 employees. It owns the sole license to the Jeep apparel brand in South Africa, which contributes a significant portion of the company’s revenues, along with its own outdoor utility brands as well as other complementary brands under license. The transaction creates a significant apparel platform within Bounty, and provides an established distribution network to the market.

Meanwhile it was announced that Verod Capital Management is teaming up with company management to acquire Union Trustees from Union Bank of Nigeria. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The investment is the third from Verod’s second fund. The Lagos-based financial services company is one of the leading corporate trustee and fund management companies in Nigeria, providing trusteeship services, nominee services and fund.

In exit news last week, impact investor Vital Capital announced successful exits from two Angolan infrastructure projects--the Sumbe-Gabela-Waku Kungo electricity transmission project and the Water for All project. The mezzanine financings, originally made in late June 2014 and early July 2014, plus the requisite interest, were returned by the companies executing the projects in one payment earlier this month, yielding an IRR of over 24% for the fund’s investors.

Fresh from spending $1 billion last week for an 80% stake in fitness chain Virgin Active, investment firm Brait still has another $2 billion available to spend on deals, according to the firm's largest shareholder Christo Wiese. Bloomberg reports that the firm is seeking businesses in Europe as well as its home market of South Africa that are cash generative and have proven management teams.

Vantage Capital has received commitments of approximately $60 million for its third mezzanine fund from a number of European investors. DEG, the German DFI is investing $20 million. In an emailed response from Vantage Capital to our questions, additional participants include a major Swiss Bank, a German Family Office and a European Research Foundation. Vantage Mezzanine Fund II is targeting $250 million and is expected to hold the final close later on this year.

Finally, a couple of trend and perspective pieces caught our attention last week. Firstly, the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association, (EMPEA), published a special report on Private Equity in the Middle East and Africa, its first in-depth look at the asset class in the region. Its data driven analysis gives interesting insight into the fundraising and investment dynamics in the region. And secondly, in an article for Africa Outlook Magazine, Craig Metherell, an analyst with Riscura, lays out the challenges and opportunities presented by public-private partnership models in helping Africa's governments narrow the infrastructure gap.

Allan Cunningham

Allan Cunningham

Allan Cunningham is a senior media executive who has spent the last 15 years of his career working for some of the world’s most respected M&A and Private Equity media companies including Dow Jones’s publications Private Equity Analyst and VentureWire and most recently, The Deal. He has built a number of successful digital and event content businesses, both subscription and sponsor-supported, delivering information and content-marketing services to clients in the M&A and broader deal ecosystem. He recently struck out on his own and launched Rowayton Press, a multi-platform media company focused on the private capital opportunities in emerging and frontier markets. Mr. Cunningham holds a Bachelors degree from Liverpool John Moores University in the UK.

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