Last week in brief...It was a quieter week in Africa's private capital markets compared to the week before. While the deals tended towards the smaller side, some of the industry's larger players were featured, one of them for the first time.
That one was Cerberus Capital Management, one of the global investment industry's largest alternative investors, who announced that they had bought Singapore-based SGI Frontier Capital. The deal gives US-headquartered Cerberus it's first foothold in Africa through a team with an extensive track record of direct investments in frontier markets including Ethiopia, Georgia and Mongolia. The group will form the core of Cerberus's frontier investments platform.
The other big name firm featured was Development Partners International or DPI. It looks as if the private equity fund manager is in line for a fund commitment for their third fund from the IFC, who will decide on the investment in early December. Africa Development Partners III is a planned $800 million fund which, similar to its first two funds, will back growing, cash-flow positive businesses which sell their products and services to the growing ranks of Africa’s middle class consumers.
In terms of deals, we saw a first for Equator Capital's ShoreCap III.The Chicago-based impact investment firm is investing $3 million as part of MFS Africa's Series B round. The investment brings this particular round of capital raising for the fintech company to a close, giving it $14 million to use to pursue its growth plans.
In the healthcare sector, XSML Capital's African Rivers Fund is making its third investment in Ecopharm Uganda, a pharmacy chain with twelve locations in the East African country's capital city, Kampala. The debt investment will be used to open a new pharmacy at Mulago public hospital, the country's largest referral facility. Ecopharm's near-term expansion strategy also includes the acquisition of a sister company, Boots Phamaceuticals.
Specialist trade and supply chain investor GTR Ventures is making its first Africa deal, backing Orbitt, a pan-African focused deal origination and processing platform. The deal, the terms of which remain undisclosed, will help Orbitt further create and develop its trade finance product capabilities as well as expand the company's relationships with both traditional and digital trade finance market participants around the world.
NEoT Offgrid Africa, a private capital-backed investment platform, is taking a controlling stake in a Nigerian microutility project. The deal sees NEoT Offgrid invest an undisclosed amount to acquire over 50% of Sabon Gari Energy Solutions, the first microutility project being developed by Lagos-based Rensource Energy, a distributed energy services company. NEoT Offgird, which is backed by NEoT Capitaland Meridiam, among others, will sue the capital to buy and install solar panels, power electronics, batteries and smart meters for the microutility located in Kano's Sabon Gari Market, one of Nigeria's most active commercial centres.
And finally, CDC has a new head for its Infrastructure Equity team. Chris Chijiutomo, who joined the development finance institution in 2007, is being promoted to the position to take over from Sameh Shenouda, who left CDC in September this year. Infrastructure investments account for some 25% of CDC's $5.3 billion portfolio.
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.