Last week in brief...AfricInvest announced two investments for its third fund last week,taking the amount of capital now deployed in investments by the fund to over the 80% mark. The larger of the two deals is a co-investment with one of the larger debt fund managers in the Middle East - Gulf Capital. Between them, they're investing debt and equity in iSON Xperiences, a customer services and outsourcing provider with 27 call centres in 14 countries in Africa and India, serving about 425 million end-users.
The second of AfricInvest's two deals for Fund III announced last week was for Côte d'Ivoire's largest transport and logistics company. The Tunis-headquartered private equity fund manager is taking a significant minority stake in Les Centaures Routiers, which was established some 65 years ago. The company use the fresh capital from the deal to invest in its fleet of trucks, build a new site to consolidate its freight transport and logistics operations on a new state-of-the-art platform as well as fund the company's increasing working capital requirements.
It East Africa, DOB Equity has made an investment in an organic and fair-trade certified macadamia producer, processing and trading company with operations in Kenya. The Dutch family office is backing Ten Senses Africa, which processes nuts sourced mainly from farmers on Kenya's coast at its facility in Nairobi, with an undisclosed amount of capital which will be used to expand its processing capacity. The business hopes to tap into growing worldwide demand for healthy nut products and sell increased volumes of its products at higher margins to local buyers as well as those in Europe and the United States.
Having backed their first fund, CDC announced last week that it is making a commitment to Synergy Capital Managers' second fund. The UK development finance institution is committing to Synergy Private Equity Fund II, which has now raised some $232 million, bringing it closer to its ultimate target of $300 million. The new fund will source deal opportunities in small and medium-sized businesses in anglophone West Africa.
CDC has been active in Nigeria for 70 years and currently has almost US$400 million invested in a portfolio of 82 businesses. The country and broader region continues to hold a lot of interest for the DFI, which plans to deepen its investment relationships there even further. As part of that plan, CDC plans to open a regional office for West Africa in Lagos over the course of the next year.
Staying in the realm of DFIs, the African Development Bank is taking a stake in Africa Finance Corporation. The Bank is acquiring an as yet undisclosed shareholding in the infrastructure-focused development finance institution, with the strategic aim of strengthening the partnership between the two organizations to help accelerate and deepen co-financing opportunities initiatives, joint implementation projects and general knowledge sharing which will benefit the continent more broadly.
And finally, AVCA released the findings for its 2018 Limited Partners survey last week. The findings were generally very positive. In a nutshell, the data reveals that a majority of the 60 global LPs who participated in the research anticipate increasing their allocation to African and Africa-focused funds in the short-term, while almost two-thirds of the respondents identified the continent as offering more attractive opportunities than other markets over the next decade.
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.