Last week in brief… The only private equity-related deals reported in Africa last week were either transaction by a portfolio company or concerned the fund manager itself. Even then it was a light week, whichever way you look at it. There was some fundraising action, certainly. But after last week's burst of deal activity, deal makers perhaps had an excuse to draw breath.
GoMetro, a technology company creating public transport and mobile ticketing apps which was backed with R5million in seed capital by AngelHub Ventures and 4Decades Capital in early to mid 2014 was the beneficiary of an undisclosed infusion of fresh equity from Tritech Media in exchange for a 20% stake. The capital will be used to fund the company’s growth plans.
GoMetro is eyeing expansion opportunities in other emerging countries, with Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city, currently being mapped. With Tritech now a major stakeholder, the company is looking to leverage the media technology company’s network of portfolio and partner companies and their market share to push its growth still further.
The executives and employees of Pointbreak, an investment management firm offering asset management, private equity and property investment services in Namibia, have agreed to sell their entire stake to FNB, a member of South Africa's FirstRand Group of companies. Terms of the deal, which is subject to regulator approval in both countries, were not disclosed. No changes are expected to Pointbreak's operations which will continue to see the company "...continue to serve its clients with uncompromising levels of personal service excellence and in the same professional, diligent and homely manner as always” as CEO Josephat Mwatotole commented in an email to Africa Capital Digest last week.
News of planned funds and an actual commitment were the most buoyant area of capital news on the continent last week. The African Development Bank is committing $20 million in capital to the Rx Healthcare Fund, an Africa-focused private equity investment vehicle which will target growth capital opportunities in diagnostic, hospital and pharmaceutical companies across the continent. The fund, which is looking to raise $200 million in total, will be managed by EFG Hermes’ private equity investment team. Initially backing businesses in Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco, it’s expected to expand its investment region to include Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and Sudan, bringing capital and technology transfer to these under-served regions.
Africamen, a 30 million dinar (approximately US$14million) venture capital fund, was launched last week. Backed by a Tunisian consortium made up of Caisse des depôts et consignations, the country's investment promotion agency, Amen Bank, Compagnie Tunisienne d’Assurance et de Réassurance and publicly-listed conglomerate Poulina Group, the fund will make investments in Tunisian companies that are aiming to expand into sub-Saharan Africa. Amen Capital, the asset management arm of Amen Bank, will manage the fund.
In other fundraising news, Stockdale Street, the private equity investment arm of the Oppenheimer family’s South Africa interests, is backing a new hedge fund with R100 million or approximately US$7 million. The fund, Senqu Capital, is being launched by former Capricorn Capital fund managers Andrew Crawford and Stephen Carew and will pursue an equity long-short strategy.
Meanwhile, the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the private sector and Gabon’s Deposit and Consignments Fund signed a memorandum of understanding to launch a new private equity fund targeting small and medium-sized enterprises in Gabon and Central Africa. Additional details of the fund raise were hazy, but we'll keep you up-to-date once we hear more.
Africa's largest fund manager was involved in "a first" last week. The Public Investment Corporation or PIC, manager of South Africa’s Government Employees Pension Fund, revealed details its portfolio of unlisted assets for the first time last week during the presentation of its integrated annual report to Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance. Held in the Isibaya Fund, PIC's unlisted investment portfolio equates to 2.4% of the manager's entire portfolio of R1.9 trillion, totalling 44.6 billion in 250 investments across a variety of sectors.
And finally, while sinking rents, a supply glut and continued weakness in the price of oil are all presenting challenges to Nigeria’s property landlords, some investors feel that the time’s now right to step in. Reuters talks to a number of real estate investors or where they seen there's opportunity and how they plan to invest.
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.