Africa's private capital markets saw an eclectic clutch of deals last week. We lead with probably the biggest of the week, value-wise. Tiso Blackstar, a JSE-listed investment holding company has agreed to sell a large portion of its media assets on the continent to Lebashe Investments. The deal is worth about $74 million which Tiso Blackstar will use to pay down some of its debt load.
Growthpoint and Investec's pan-African real estate joint venture announced that it has made the first of several planned acquisitions. The investment platform, Growthpoint Investec Africa Properties, is buying the Achimota Retail Centre in Ghana’s capital, Accra from AttAfrica, a fellow joint venture between JSE-listed REITs Attacq and Hyprop Investments. While terms of the deal were not revealed, AttAfrica's website values Achimota at $56.4 million.
Water and renewable energy were the themes behind two of last week's deals. Zurich-based responsAbility's renewable energy platform announced it has acquired a stake in Renewable Energy Holdings, a South Africa-based developer, owner, and operator of run-of-river hydropower projects in Southern Africa. The deal will help responsAbility’s REH accelerate its hydropower development activities.
The other water-related deal comes courtesy of Eos Capital, which is reported to be executing the next phase of its buy and build strategy to create a large scale Namibian water and engineering services firm. The Windhoek-based private equity investor is acquiring stakes in Eco Group, a three-division business with clients in the mining, food and beverage and power generation sectors to bolt on to its existing water assets.
responsAbility Investments were also involved in a debt deal last week. Two of its funds have backed d.light solar’s latest round of financing, part of $18 million being provided to the solar power product provider by a consortium of lenders which include SunFunder, SIMA and Developing World Markets. The deal is the first investment for both of the responsAbility funds involved, and raise the firm's total exposure to d.light across a number of its funds to $14 million.
Uganda-based Pearl Capital Partners was also involved in two items of news last week. In the first, the private equity fund manager announced it is making a mezzanine investment in Raintree Farms, an agri-ceutical business producing and processing organic moringa. The capital from the investment will be used for Raintree's working capital requirements as well as capital expenditure plans.
In the second, Pearl Capital held the final close for the Yield Uganda Investment Fund. The 10-year fund has now received a total of €20 million in commitments, or approximately $22.5 million at current rates, from a mix of investors. The fund’s strategy is to invest between €250,000 and €2 million in equity, semi-equity and debt deals in 20 agribusiness SMEs which have the potential to generate strong financial returns and generate significant social impact.
We report on a couple of interesting venture capital deals last week. Silvertree Capital sold its stake in CompareGuru, fully exiting its investment in a firm it first backed some 5 years ago. The acquirer of the online insurance comparison business is SureStart, a Cape Town-based insurance distribution firm who have bought out Silvertree’s majority stake as well as a number of smaller shareholders.
In another financial sector venture deal, the IFC and Quona Capital have led a consortium of investors backing Lulalend’s Series A investment round. In total, the consortium is investing $6.5 million in the Cape Town-based digital lender. According to the IFC, the other investors in Lulalend’s capital structure following the investment include Hallman Holding International, Team Africa Ventures, Newid Capital as well as the founders and employees of the company.
And finally, Naspers announced the appointment of a new chief executive for its South African business last week. Among her overall responsibilities running the consumer internet group’s day-to-day business in South Africa, Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa’s duties included directing the growth of Naspers’ new startup-focused investment units, Naspers Foundry and Naspers Labs.
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.