Last week in brief… For the second week in a row,healthcare sector deals monopolized private equity deal news in Africa last week. 54 Capital added to its portfolio of Ethiopian assets by investing $42 million to take a significant minority stake in Addis Pharmaceutical Factory, one of the East African country's largest pharmaceutical manufacturers. To date, the London-headquartered firm has invested almost $80 million in opportunities in Ethiopia.
In a West African healthcare deal, the IFC has teamed up with private equity firm IFHA Cooperatief, reinsurance giant Swiss Re and CIEL Healthcare to invest $66.8 million in Hygeia Nigeria, a private healthcare company, giving Satya Capital an exit from their original 2009 investment in the process. Hygeia operates a network of two hospitals and three clinics under the Lagoon Hospitals brand and a health maintenance organization, Hygeia HMO.
A couple of interesting fundraising announcements surfaced last week. A new private equity fund, Alitheia Identity Fund, garnered its first capital commitment for a planned $100 million SME fund. The fund is a joint venture between two women-led fund managers, Nigeria's Alitheia Capital and South Africa's Identity Development Fund, and will put an emphasis on investing in women-owned or women managed SMEs across 10 sub-Saharan countries. The African Development Bank becomes the fund's first investor putting up $12.5 million in equity.
Meanwhile Gulf Capital held a $175 million first close for its second credit and mezzanine fund last week. The alternative investment firm is seeding the fund itself, hoping, come the final close, to have raised $250 million from a range of institutions to invest in financing solutions for private equity sponsors and middle market companies in the Middle East and North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa and Turkey.
In other significant fund news, RMB Westport, the private equity real estate investor, is looking to raise $450 million for its second real estate development fund. The IFC’s Board of Directors is meeting at the end of January to consider whwther to make a $40 million equity commitment to the fund which will target investments in retail, office and industrial properties in Nigeria, Ghana, Angola and Côte d’Ivoire.
Atlas Mara announced that its deal to acquire an equity stake in Banque Populaire de Rwanda has now closed, allowing the financial services investment vehicle to start the process of integrating the Bank with BRD Commercial Bank, its other Rwandan portfolio holding which it acquired in October 2014. Atlas Mara will own 62% of the combined entity, which will operate under the Banque Populaire de Rwanda brand.
And finally this week, a new report published by the Global Impact Investment Network and Dalberg finds that West Africa is becoming more and more of an attractive investment destination for impact investors. In particular, the energy, financial technologies and agriculture sectors offer the most attractive investment opportunities in the region, which currently has a total of 46 active impact investors.
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.