Last week in brief... The larger private capital-related deals involved portfolio companies last week, and ones backed by some of the more high-profile private capital firms. The smaller, direct investments, tended to the small side.
We start in the real estate sector. Growthpoint Investec African Properties or (GIAP) the pan-African Real Estate joint venture launched in late 2015 by Investec Asset Management and Growthpoint Partners announced it had begun operations last week with $212 million in committed capital. The platform's strategy is to invest in income-producing commercial real estate properties in several African countries over the next 5 to 7 years before exit, capitalizing on the demand for quality office, retail, logistics and industrial properties created by the needs of Africa's rapidly expanding urban consumer class.
Telkom Kenya, in which Helios Investment Partners holds a controlling stake, has agreed to sell up to 723 of its towers to American Tower Company. The deal, which is expected to close in the latter part of the year, marks American Towers' entry into its fifth market in Africa and allows the Telkom to focus on its core functions as well as use the released capital for additional investment in its 4G network.
Libstar Holdings, the South African food and personal care business majority-owned by The Abraaj Group, listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange last week. The firm raised a total of R3 billion or approximately $245 million at current exchange rates which will be used, in part, to pay down some of the company's debt. Prices dipped in initial trading before ending the week at R12.49, just shy of the initial price of R12.50 when the firm first debuted.
At the smaller end of the deal scale, One Thousand & One Voices is making its first investment in Africa's education sector. The private family capital fund is backing Higher Ed Partners South Africa or HEPSA, an online education company based in Johannesburg.
In a venture capital deal, Sanari Capital has led a group of investors backing Sensor Networks' R13 million Series B round. Other backers include ASISA ESD Fund and 4Di Capital, the latter having participated in Sensor Networks' earlier Series A as well.
Sensor Networks was founded to help insurance companies better manage their risk through the use of smart sensors and a proprietary IoT platform. The fresh capital will help support the company's ramp-up phase.
The only fundraising item of the week concerned a new infrastructure fund. Baykha Investment Partners launched the fund raising for the Transformational Infrastructure Fund which is looking to raise R2 billion or approximately $160 million to make equity and empowerment financing or structured equity investments in socio-economic infrastructure projects primarily in South Africa.
Finally, Ahmed Rady has been appointed the head of Alta Semper Capital's new Cairo office. He brings a decade's worth of investment banking, private equity and corporate finance experience with him, particularly in the private equity firm's two key verticals - consumer and healthcare.
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.