Last week in brief...Two items of fund closing news took the spotlight last week. Of the two, Phatisa posted the larger interim close. The private equity fund announced the first close for its second fund, Phatisa Food Fund 2 which now has $121.5 million in hand with which to start investing in businesses involved in food production. The LPs behind the commitments have not been named, but 70% of the capital came from commercial institutions, with the balance being provided by DFIs. The fund is aiming to hold a final close of $300 million in the middle of next year.

In the financial services sector, AfricInvest held a second close for its evergreen financial services investment platform FIVE last week. Having raised €30 million in time for its first close at the start of the year, the pan-African private equity platform now has a total of €61 million, or 20% of its ultimate goal, to invest in financial services opportunities across the continent.

Norfund, IFU and the Central Bank of Kenya Pension Fund participated in this latest close, joining FMO and BIO on the roster of LPs. Both had participated in FIVE's previous close. The platform is aiming to deliver its LPs what are described as "commercial returns" from backing deals in Tier 2 and Tier 3 financial institutions. Deals will typically be sized between €5 million to €10 million.

In deal news, Helios Investment Partners announced last week that it is backing KMR Holding Pédagogique, (KMR), owner and operator of the Université Privée de Marrakech and the Université Internationale de Casablanca. The London-based investor becomes the latest private equity firm to back KMR, following DPI's deal for the company in 2014 and Mediterrania Capital Partners deal in 2016.

As well as supporting KMR's expansion plans for its educational institutions, Helios will also help KMR's diversification strategy to take advantage of the growing student housing market. Helios has had some success in developing a purpose-built student accommodation platform in Kenya.

Last Tuesday, Enko Capital announced that it has completed an investment in Network Industry and Services (NETIS), a company which specializes in the design, construction, installation and management of telecom infrastructure. The deal is the sixth investment for the $63 million Enko Africa Private Equity Fund and lifts the total amount of the fund's capital deployed to date to 75%. The fund now holds a 31.5% stake in the company, and Cyrille Nkontchou and and his fellow Enko co-founder Ralph Gilchrist take seats on NETIS’s board.

In South Africa, Ethos Capital's Mid Market Fund is leading a deal to take a controlling stake in Gammatek. The fund is spending an undisclosed amount to acquire a 51% shareholding in the South African consumer technology distributor, with Eskom Pension & Provident Fund acquiring an additional 9% stake in the company.

Gammatek plans to use some of the capital to build out its sales capacity and speed up the roll out of new products and new channels. The firm, which was founded in 1998, is an importer, distributor and manufacturer of mobile device accessories and low-tech consumer products.

Finally, former Abraaj portfolio company Cairo for Investment & Real Estate Development (CIRA) listed on the Egyptian Stock Exchange last week. The company raised EGP 1.244 billion or almost $70 million from the sale of some 37.8% of the company's shares by Social Impact Capital, CIRA's founding family's investment vehicle and other minority shareholders.

In June this year, The Abraaj Group sold the 35% stake in the company it had originally earned when it backed the company in 2014. The buyer was education company’s founding family and its investment vehicle Social Impact Capital, who reportedly paid over $20 million to buy back the stake.

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

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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