Last week in brief… It wasn't until the end of the week that the most notable private equity news in Africa last week hit the newswires. In what will be the first consolidation in the continent's mobile telecoms infrastructure sector, IHS Towers is buying Helios Towers Nigeria and its portfolio of 1,211 towers. Both companies count leading private equity funds and infrastructure investors among their backers--Emerging Capital Partners and Wendel are investors in IHS while HTN's stakeholders include Helios Investment Partners and Pembani Group. While financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, the deal will certainly one of the largest of the year and is expected to close in the second quarter.

In another piece of significant news, Business Day reports that Rockwood Private Equity is looking to raise as much as $500 million for its second fund when it goes to market later this year. Rockwood's first fund performed well, delivering a 30% internal IRR. The South African fund manager's Managing Partner, Andrew Dewar, tells the business news provider that the new fund will target opportunities in the country's industrial and services sectors.

Last week was also one of the busier deal weeks of the recent past. Medu Capital Partners announced two investments for its R1 billion third fund, acquiring outright ownership of two well-established companies--Universal Paints, a manufacturer of decorative paints and coatings and Elite Truck Hire, an equipment and logistics company--and spending a combined R450 million or $29.5 million for both.

In a growth capital deal, TMT investor Convergence Partners is investing an undisclosed amount to take a significant minority stake in inQuba, a managed customer experience software platform. The capital is being earmarked to help accelerate inQuba's expansion plans further, particularly in the United States.

Meanwhile AfricInvest announced a deal in East Africa's Silafrica Plastics and Packaging International, a company with operations in Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and India. The investment, which is being made through AfricInvest’s €200 million third fund, will provide Silafrica with the capital it needs to expand its product line, push into new markets in Africa and capture some of the significant growth anticipated in the plastics and packaging sector in the coming years.

At the smaller end of the deal scale, PCM Captal Partners announced details of an investment it made through its West Africa Emerging Markets Growth Fund in late December last year where it is investing 4.1 million euros for a 49% stake in a newly established subsidiary of pharmaceutical distributor Ubipharma. The capital will be used to help the company expand its distribution capacity and network.

From Moneyweb this week, a summary of the private equity activity that has taken place so far this year. Despite the headwinds buffeting broader emerging market investing, the asset class is showing some reliance, a trend that had strong potential to continue.

And finally, in company news, Old Mutual is splitting itself into 4 separate business units in a bid to save the costs of being in part of a larger group. The process of separating the group into standalone businesses is expected to be completed by 2018.

Allan Cunningham

Allan Cunningham

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.

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