Last week in brief… In what was otherwise a quiet week for private capital investing in Africa, a couple of interesting and somewhat uncommon deals were announced last week. In the first, mezzanine fund manager Vantage Capital is providing almost $28 million in financing to the senior management team of facilities management firm Servest. The financing will allow them to take greater equity participation as part of Kagiso Tiso Holding's buyout of the company, a deal which was originally announced in late June.
In the second, Paris-based private equity firm Amethis Finance has pulled together a consortium of investors that includes some of its own LPs as well as regular investment partner EuroMena Funds for a convertible loan deal with Nigerian paper products group Elephant Africa Holdings. Once converted the consortium will end up with a minority equity stake in the company. And, in a more run-of the-mill transaction,Synergy Capital announced it has successfully completed a deal to take an undisclosed stake in Viathan Engineering, a developer of captive and embedded power systems in Nigeria. The capital will be used to restructure the company's balance sheet as well as scale up its generation and distribution capabilities.
In DFI news, Africa Oil, the oil and gas exploration company that counts Helios Investment Partners among its shareholders, announced that it is raising $50 million from the IFC in a private placement offering. The deal looks set to close on August 31st, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. Once completed, the deal gives IFC a 6.83% stake in the company.
Bloomberg reports that IHS Towers, the mobile communications infrastructure company backed by a number of leading private equity and infrastructure funds, is said to be in initial talks to acquire tower assets from South Africa's MTN Group in a deal that would be worth as much as $2 billion. While MTN apparently favors a transaction with IHS, a deal has not been agreed and still may not happen.
And finally, a profile of James Mworia, CEO of Kenyan Investment company Centum Investments caught our eye. Having joined the company in 2002 as an intern, (although admittedly an overqualified one), within seven years he was the company's CEO.
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.