Last week in brief...We kick off with a North African deal this week. MNT Investments, the holding company for Mashroey, a consumer finance company and Tasaheel, a microfinance business, both located in Egypt, sold a significant minority stake in itself to Development Partners International or DPI. The transaction is the ninth for DPI's second fund which closed with $725 million in 2015.
The existing majority stake holder in MNT is GB Capital, the financing unit of one GB Auto, one of the MENA region's larger automotive businesses. Working in concert with DPI and the firms' management teams, MNT hopes to bolster its digital strategy, expand its branch network and implement an ESG plan, all initiatives to support its growth plans.
Another equity transaction last week involves a fintech firm, Mines. TPG Growth's impact investment vehicle, The Rise Fund is leading a group of investors backing the firm's Series A round for Mines. The fintech startup, which is based in Silicon Valley and Nigeria, has raised a total of $13 million from the group if investors. Additional financial details were not revealed.
Mines' Credit-as-a-Service digital platform helps financial institutions in developing markets sell to consumers. Mines assesses credit risk instantly by mining high-volume data sets provided by phone records, bank records and payment transactions in markets with little or no credit bureau infrastructure, helping financial institutions make rapid decisions in pricing and approving credit applications.
In East Africa, Catalyst Principal Partners are creating a new mattress manufacturing platform company via the roll up of three regional mattress companies - Kenya's SuperFoam, Malawi's Vitafoam and Uganda's Euroflex - into Mammoth Foam Africa. The company will be owned by Catalyst Mattress Africa and be part of Catalyst Fund II's portfolio of assets. The financial terms of the transactions to create the new entity have not been disclosed.
Vantage GreenX Fund Managers is providing funding to six solar and wind energy projects in South Africa via its second renewable energy fund, Vantage GreenX Note II. The combined senior debt investment of R2.05 billion is the first set of deals for Vantage GreenX Note II, which closed with R3 billion (approximately $215 million at the time) in commitments from pension funds and insurance companies last year.
The projects, which all form part of Round 4 of the South African Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer or REIPP procurement program, consist of four projects developed by BioTherm Energy and two projects developed by OMLACSA and ACED. Between them, the projects have a generating capacity of 433MW.
In fund news, we saw another step in the Abraaj saga start to take shape. AlixPartners, the specialist advisor, has been appointed to oversee the separation of the firm's $1 billion Healthcare fund from the broader Abraaj Group. The global consulting firm's professionals are now working alongside the fund’s senior operational team and the provisional liquidators of Abraaj Investment Management Ltd to find a permanent replacement investment manager to manage the Fund with as little disruption to its operations as possible. Currently, the fund has interests in 26 hospitals, 17 clinics and 32 diagnostics centres in India, Pakistan and Kenya.
A.P. Moller Capital has announced that it has almost reached its final close target for the Africa Infrastructure Fund. Launched in August last year with $550 million from the Maersk shipping line family’s A.P. Moller Holding and three Danish pension funds, the fund has now received $982 million in commitments, just shy of its final goal of $1 billion. They expect to hit that goal within the next couple of months
The 10-year fund, which is now entering its investment period, will back infrastructure opportunities across Africa, aiming to deliver returns in the high teens as well as deliver significant economic, social and governance impact in the assets and regions in which it invests.
Finally, in an interesting Q&A in Devex,Andrew Farnum of the Gates Foundation's strategic investment arm talks about how the foundation has become one of the world's leading impact investors and the ways these investments can advance health outcomes in developing markets.
That's it for this week. As always, you can review these and other stories by clicking through to this week's preview edition of the newsletter.
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.