Last week in brief...The big news since we last published is that KKR has disposed of its one and only investment on the continent. The global investment firm, which, according to the Wall Street Journal has disbanded its Africa deal team for a want of large enough deal opportunities, has sold its majority stake in Afriflora to Sun Capital.
The deal adds another African horticultural business to Sun Capital's portfolio. In October 2015, the private equity firm reached agreement to buy the assets of Finlays Horticulture, the largest, vertically-integrated producer and exporter of fresh produce and flowers from Africa to Europe, with operations in Kenya, South African and Tanzania.
In another exit, LeapFrog Investments has sold its major stake in BIMA, the emerging markets mobile insurer. The acquirer is Allianz X, the digital investment unit of Allianz Group, the global insurer and asset manager. The company formed part of LeapFrog's Financial Inclusion Fund I portfolio and the emerging markets investor has been instrumental in supporting BIMA's growth with both capital and specialist product design and market expansion strategies.
New private equity investor Longreen Capital Advisors has made its first investment, backing Cairo-based Egyptian International Restaurant Company. The transaction is being transacted on behalf of the middle market private equity firm's special purpose food platform, Meal Hall, a UAE Free Zone company set up to consolidate food and beverage companies in the region. The firm's strategy is to target businesses with strong brand equity and predictable cash flows which have both domestic and regional expansion potential. Apparently the firm is currently evaluating a number of potential investments and aims to make between two and three investments over the next two years.
Accra-based Oasis Capital Ghana is backing Legacy Girls College, a private girls high school in the West African country on behalf of the private equity firm's Oasis Africa Fund which targets investments in small and medium-sized enterprises in Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire. Since its founding in 2015, the brand has experienced significant growth in brand awareness and enrollment and the fresh capital will be used to finance the expansion of the school's facilities at its Akuse campus.
In venture capital deal news, Clifftop Ventures has increased its Equity Capital Drawdown Facility for iono.fm. The fresh capital will be provided by topping up the existing drawdown facility and used to solidify the business in 2018 and to commence the expansion outside of South Africa into larger African markets, such as Kenya, Nigeria and Tanzania.
Two private equity funds focused on financial services investments announced first closes since we last published. The larger of the two was for ShoreCap III, Equator Capital's latest fund which raised capital from a number of development finance institutions.
AfricInvest's FIVE has been set up as an evergreen investment vehicle for financial services opportunities on the continent. The Tunis-based private equity fund manager announced a first close for the fund which is aiming to eventually raise €200 million in the next three to five years. These initial commitments came from the FMO and BIO, both of whom had backed FIVE's predecessor fund.
Finally, its the time of year for rankings and lists. We found a few that are interesting. Quantum's Mthuli Ncube identifies the top 5 trends that'll drive African private equity this year. Brookings revealed the 10 most popular posts from its 2017 Africa in Focus series. They highlight a significant figure, chart, table, or graph that explores an important statistic or policy perspective to explain recent news and developments on the continent. And Ventureburn published its list of the 15 people to watch if you want to keep abreast of perspective and developments in South Africa's ecosystem.
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.