Last week in brief… North Africa's private equity firms provided a trio of deals last weeks. Two were exits, while one forms part of a much larger renewable energy initiative in Egypt. In the first of the two exits, CDG Capital Private Equity announced it has fully exited its remaining holding in Jet Contractors, a Moroccan construction company, earning 3.3x its original investment. The sale was executed via the Casablanca Stock Exchange, on which the company was listed in 2011. CDG originally backed Jet Contractors in 2009, when the firm posted revenues of approximately $25 million. Today that number stands at about $126 million.
In Egypt, SPE Capital has sold its entire holding in Orchidia Pharmaceuticals to the Egyptian American Enterprise Fund, earning its investors 3x their money. SPE first backed the Egyptian ophthalmic generics manufacturer in 2013, acquiring a significant minority stake. Since then, the firm has become one of the fastest growing pharmaceutical companies in Egypt with increased market share and solid export revenues helping turnover rise by over 400% in the last 4 years.
BPE Partners announced they'd reached financial close with renewable energy development companies Infinity Solar Energy and IB Vogt to develop three solar power plants for the Benban Solar Park located near Aswan in Egypt. The total investment cost for the three projects in $190 million, which is being provided as a mix of equity and debt. Exact terms of the deal were not disclosed.
In South Africa, meanwhile, Capitalworks and Mineworkers Investment Company have agreed to sell their stakes in Much Asphalt to AECI, a listed South African explosives and chemical company. The agreed price is R2.272 billion or approximately $160 million.Both private equity firms teamed up with the company's management team acquired Much Asphalt from Murray & Roberts in 2013.The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of next year, once the necessary approvals have been secured.
Assala Energy, an oil and gas exploration and production company established by Carlyle has completed the deal to acquire Royal Dutch Shell’s onshore assets in Gabon. The $628 million acquisition, which was first announced in March, was transacted on behalf of two of the alternative investment giant's private equity funds - the $2.5 billion Carlyle International Energy Partners Fund and the $698 million Sub-Saharan Private Equity Fund. The deal represents one of the largest foreign direct investments in Gabon and marks the first energy investment for Carlyle’s Sub-Saharan Africa fund.
Apis Partners has once again invested in Direct Pay Online, the online payments processing firm it first backed in late 2016. The $5 million investment. which follows the $10 million investment made on behalf of Apis's $287 million Fund I in September last year, will further help the company execute its strategic growth plan. Over the past year, Direct Pay Online has finalized the acquisition of four companies and is in the final stages of acquiring an additional company which will be announced shortly.
A staggeringly large fund launch was announced last week. Milost Global will start fundraising for the planned multi-billion dollar Isolo Fund I in mid-to-late November. In total, the fund is targeting $5 billion, and will approach investors in Africa, Europe, Asia and the Middle East for commitments. If successful, it will be the largest dedicated Africa private capital fund by a considerable margin.
Synergy Capital is also on the fundraising trail, chasing $250 million for its second fund. IFC is mulling a $20 million commitment to the generalist fund, which is targeting opportunities in Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
And finally for this week, IFC Asset Management Company has a new CEO. Marcos Brujis, who helped found the fund management arm in 2009 is back, this time assuming the role from Gavin Wilson, who is stepping down as his two-term tenure has come to an end.
As always, you can review these and other stories by clicking through to this week’s complete 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.