Last week in brief...The biggest deal of the week in Africa came with scant detail. None of the parties involved have released any information as yet. We assume it was the biggest given the value the seller paid for the asset when they first bought it in 2006. The asset in question is a 35% stake in state-controlled Tunisie Telecom for which Emirates International Telecommunications reportedly paid $2.25 billion eleven years ago. Last Monday, Tunisia's Communications Minister told Parliament that The Abraaj Group has now acquired the stake without divulging any of the the financial terms. We'll wait to see if any more information is forthcoming.
A couple of solar energy deals hit the headlines last week. At the larger end of the scale, Metier announced it has sold its holding in Cape Town-based renewable energy developer AE AMD to African Infrastructure Investment Management and Katiso Renewable Energy. The price paid for the 14.2% stake was not disclosed, although the sale returned the Lereko Metier Sustainable Capital Fund an IRR in excess of 25%.
Mobisol, an off-grid solar home system provider was the beneficiary of another capital infusion last week, this time in the form of a follow-on investment from Investec Asset Management who first backed the company in October 2016. While the amount invested wasn't available by the time we went to press, the transaction brings the total amount of capital raised by the Berlin-headquartered company over the past 6 months to $25 million.
The UK's development finance institution, CDC, was part of a consortium investing $122.5 million of equity in ONOMO Hotels last week. CDC is contributing the lion's share of the equity, some $55 million, with the balance being provided by CIC Capital, Credit Mutuel’s private equity investment arm and Batipart, the family office that currently owns ONOMO. The capital will help the Casablanca-based hotel brand treble the number of rooms it can offer to Africa's business travelers over the next 5 years.
In the FMCG sector, Long4Life, the listed investment firm launched by BidVest founder Brian Joffe earlier this year, announced it has agreed to pay at least R452 million or about $33 million for Chill, a producer, packer and distributor of a range of beverages located in South Africa’s Western Cape. Long4Life is acquiring the company from its existing shareholders Africa Beverage Venture, Raubenbel and the company's management, (who will remain following the completion of the deal).
The final deal covered by us this week is an infrastructure PPP transaction. The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund has led the financing for a large-scale water treatment facility in Rwanda. EAIF is providing $19 million of Senior Debt and $2.6 million of Junior Debt to the planned plant in Kanzenze, south of Kigali, while the African Development Bank is providing an additional $19 million of Senior Debt.
There were three funds holding interim closes last week. Maghreb Private Equity Fund IV, one of AfricInvest's current stable in the market raising funds, held its first close last week, netting €137 million in commitments. The fund, which expects to have €150 million in hand by the end of the year, will source growth capital opportunities in small and medium-sized businesses in Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria and Egypt.
Mediterrania Capital is making good progress raising its third (and largest) fund. After 8 months in market, the fund has landed more than 40% of its fundraising goal. Mediterrania Capital III held its first close last week, raising €103 million from a group of development finance institutions, pension funds, funds-of-funds and family offices. Three quarters of the LPs making commitments had backed Mediterrania’s earlier funds.
The week also saw the arrival of a new fund on the block. Inside Capital Partners announced the first close for its maiden fund, raising a total of $34 million. Ultimately, the generalist fund is looking to raise $60 million to invest in SMEs in Eastern and Southern Africa.
Finally this week, we reported a on a couple of people moves. Torbjorn Caesar of Actis and Andrew Kuper of LeapFrog Investments, both heads of two private equity firms with significant interests in Africa have been appointed to the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association’s (EMPEA) 20-person Board of Directors.
And Thiaba Camara Sy, formerly Managing Partner at Deloitte Senegal, has joined AFIG Funds, one of Africa’s more active private equity firms of recent months, as its Chief Operating Officer. Her appointment is part of what’s being described as a new, aggressive strategy on the part of the firm to compete more effectively for deals across the continent.
As always, you can review these and other stories by clicking through to this week’s preview issue of Africa Capital Digest.
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.