In a week notable for both the volume of deal activity and the profiles of the deal makers, Centum Investments gave us the biggest deal. The listed investment company has reached an agreement to sell two of its private equity assets - bottling firms Almasi Beverages and Nairobi Bottlers - to a subsidiary of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa in a deal valued at $192 million. Both firms already bottle product for Coca-Cola, which is already the largest bottler on the continent, operating several bottling plants in 12 countries on the continent.
Two prominent South African private firms made investments last week. Old Mutual Private Equity announced it was acquiring a majority stake in Footgear from the founding management team. Founded in 2001, the specialist retailer of branded footwear now has 63 stores across the country. In addition to strategic advice, the private equity firm intends to carry on investing in the firm and support its growth.
One of Ethos Private EquIty's newer funds is taking a minority stake in TymeBank, African Rainbow Capital's newly launched digital bank. African Rainbow Capital remains TymeBank's majority shareholder with the founders and executive management of the digital bank and a staff trust also holding stakes. Since its launch in February, over 400,000 clients have opened bank accounts with TymeBank, which continues to grow its customer base at a rapid rate.
Emerging Capital Partners, another of the larger Africa-focused private equity firms, is making an investment for its fourth fund which closed with $640 million late last year. By our count, this is the firth deal for the fund and adds a substantial stake in Inter Africa Transport Forex, a Mauritius-based technology company that helps transport companies improve their cost procurement, management, and tracking processes, to its portfolio. Plans for the capital include consolidating the company's position in its existing markets and expanding into Burundi, Uganda, Kenya, Angola, and other African countries.
AfricInvest has expanded its stake in Britam, a Nairobi Stock Exchange-listed insurance group, once again, this time taking an additional 3.3% stake in the firm, which it first backed in late 2017. Last week's investment raises the Tunis-based private equity firm's stake in the firm to 17.8%.
AgDevCo is making its first deal in Kenya, backing a consortium of macadamia processors and exporters in partnership with Root Capital. Between them, the two investment firms are providing a $5 million debt facility to a group of four companies, the leader and largest of which, Africmac. The others are Sagana Nuts, The Village Nut and Jumbo Nut.
Staying in Kenya, Creadev, a French family office, is making a secondary investment in Twiga Foods, buying partial stakes from some of its earlier investors. The investment arm of the Mulliez family, one of France's richest who made their money in retail, is acquiring an undisclosed stake in the mobile-based supply platform for retail outlets, kiosks, and market stalls.
There were a number of power-themed news items last week. In Namibia, Mergence Group has acquired a majority stake in Momentous Solar One plant from NASDAQ-listed Canadian Solar. The deal is being done through its local infrastructure and developmental investment arm, Mergence Unlisted Investment Managers.
CDC is capitalizing a new electricity investment platform. Gridworks Development Partners, as the new company is called, will invest $300 million of long-term capital in transmission, distribution and off-grid electricity infrastructure, primarily in Africa, over the next few years.
And on the funding front, SunFunder and SNV Netherlands Development Organization are joining forces to manage three new financing facilities for solar and clean cookstoves. In total, the solar financing company and the development organization will manage $47 million across the three vehicles, which will be funded by Kenya's Ministry of Energy via the Kenya Off-Grid Solar Access Project (KOSAP), with financing support by the World Bank.
Finally, in Nigeria, Sahel Capital has struck a deal to acquire a stake in Ladgroup, a processor and exporter of shea butter on behalf of the Fund for Agriculture Finance in Nigeria or FAFIN. The investment will be used to expand the company's shea butter processing operations and take advantage of the global expansion in demand for the product.
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.