Last week in brief... Africa's education sector saw two deals last week - one in Egypt and the other in South Africa - while the healthcare, agribusiness and ICT sectors each saw one. DPI's fundraising efforts for their third fund got a major boost from OPIC, while East Africa saw the launch of a new impact fund. And talking of impact investors, LeapFrog Investments announced the appointment of a new General Counsel.
Having announced the the formation of an Egyptian education joint venture only last week, EFG Hermes' and GEMS Education's new platform has made its first acquisition. They're spending approximately $55.8 million to acquire a portfolio of four schools in the cities of Madinaty and Al Rehab from Taalat Moustafa Group. EFG's private equity unit will finance the transaction through its own balance sheet, using a merchant banking strategy similar to that used for its European renewable energy investments.
At the other end of the continent, one of PSG Alpha's portfolio holdings, FutureLearn, is acquiring Media Works, an adult education and training provider, outright. The acquisition helps FutureLearn, which has traditionally served school learners and home schoolers, augment its service line with a range of adult education and corporate training products. The deal gives FutureLearn a significant footprint in the corporate education market. Media Works's products and services have been used by over 3000 business and government clients as well as numerous NGO’s, schools and other training institutions.
Making its seventh deal for its fourth fund, Old Mutual Private Equity is acquiring a 50% stake in medical device supplier Medhold Group from the firm's management team. The capital will be used to support Medhold's expansion plans within the Southern African region as well as the rest of the continent. It's anticipated that OMPE will invest additional growth capital in the future to boost the company's business further.
EXEO Capital is making its second fishery-related deal of the year. The Africa-focused private equity fund manager is backing Capital Fisheries with a combination of replacement equity and expansion capital. In total, the firm is investing $6.4 million, of which $4 million is replacement capital, via the $175 million Agri-Vie Fund II.
Digital financial services company Lidya has raised one of Nigeria's largest Series A rounds to date from a group of investors. The consortium, which was led by Omidyar Network, is investing a total of $6.9 million in the company which will help Lidya grow its loan book, scale its business in Nigeria further as well as enter new markets on the continent. Additionally, the capital will allow the company to hire more skilled professionals, particularly data scientists and engineers.
OLX Ventures is placing a bet on Frontier Car Group, the online, emerging markets car market place. The early-stage investment arm of Naspers' Classified business is investing $87 million in a Series C round for the Berlin-headquartered startup, funds from which will be used to support its expansion plans into new territories as well as boost its instant cash services for the marketplace's users.
The company has experienced rapid growth building second-hand car marketplaces in the five countries in which it operates. These include Cars45.com, a marketplace in Nigeria.
OPIC is committing a significant sum to Africa Development Partners III, DPI's latest Africa-focused private equity fund. The U.S. Government's development finance institution is providing $200 million as a 10-year loan to the fund, which eventually aims to close with $800 million in commitments. In a similar strategy to its two predecessors, the planned fund will target investments in growing, cash-flow positive businesses which sell their products and services to the growing ranks of Africa's middle class consumers.
Triodos Investment Management and AlphaMundi have launched a new fund to back companies in the sustainable food and energy sectors. The two European investment companies are seeding the AlphaJiri Investment Fund with $22.5 million which will be used to make both debt and equity investments in agriculture and renewable energy businesses, initially in East Africa. Eventually, the fund hopes to raise another $60 million by 2021 to reach approximately $82 million in total commitments.
Finally, in people moves news, LeapFrog Investments has appointed Frances Holliday to the role. She joins the private equity investor following roles at emerging markets asset manager Kazimir Partners and global law firm Slaughter & May. She brings a wealth of M&A experience to the firm, especially in financial services transactions in key Sub-Saharan markets such as Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria.
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.