Last week in brief...IPO-related news jostled fundraising news for the limelight in a week that was otherwise notable for its dearth of direct private capital investments.
The one deal we report on was a secondary transaction between two BEE investment firms in South Africa. Mineworkers Investment Company sold its stake in Westcon SA, a tech distributor and subsidiary of publicly-listed Datatec to Ascension Capital Partners, a year-old private equity firm based in Centurion. The terms of the deal for the 40% stake have not been disclosed.
There were three IPO items related to private equity of venture capital investments. The biggest of the three was the listing of Prosus, the consumer internet group made up of Naspers' international internet investments, which started trading last Wednesday on Euronext Amsterdam. We break down the company's tech holdings for you in this week's issue.
Staying on the tech realm, Warburg Pincus and General Atlantic trimmed their stakes in Network International further this week. The two global private equity firms had owned a combined 49% stake in the payments processing firm before it listed in April this year, at which point they cut their stakes by about half. Last week, they sold more of their holding, realizing in the region of $350 million from the sale. They still own 10.8% of the company between them.
Helios Towers, which counts a number of private capital investors among its backers, has rekindled its plans to list in London. The tower company had originally planned to hold an IPO in March last year but shelved its plans reportedly because of political risk concerns related a couple of sub-Saharan countries in which it had operations.
According to Reuters, Helios Towers is looking to raise $125 million from an issue of new shares, with some of the firm's backers also selling part of their stakes, to create a free float of at least 25% of the company. The listing's proceeds will be used to expand the company's services in its current countries of operation as well as some new markets.
In fund news, Actishas reportedly assumed management of another two private equity funds from the now-insolvent Abraaj Group. The Wall Street Journal sourced the report from a document prepared by Abraaj's liquidators in late August which revealed that investors in both the unds appointed Actis as their new manager having removed Abraaj.
The two funds in question are the former Abraaj North Africa Fund II which managed $375 million and Abraaj South East Asia Fund II which managed $250 million. Both will add businesses to Actis's portfolio of companies in Africa and Asia, among them stakes in North Africa Hospital Holdings and the Tiba Group, an education provider in Egypt.
Development finance institutions were involved in the other fundraising times last week. The European Investment Banksigned off on its investment in Metier's Sustainable Capital II which it had first announced it was considering earlier this year. Unusually, the amount it has agreed to invest in the planned $200 million fund is not being disclosed.
The EIB also announced it is considering a $14 million investment in CardinalStone Capital Advisor's maiden fund. The fund, which has already raised at least $60 million, will back small and medium enterprises in Nigeria and Ghana, putting between $5 million and $15 million of equity to work in businesses operating in several sectors.
And the African Development Bank has approved an investment of $20 million in Criterion Africa Partners' Africa Sustainable Forestry Fund II which held its first close in June last year having raised $81 million of its targeted final close goal of $150 million.
The firm’s investment strategy to back opportunities across the forestry value chain, primarily in Southern and Eastern Africa, targeting control or significant minority stakes in the businesses it invests in.
And finally, CDC has a new head for its Direct Equity investment unit. The British DFI has hired private equity veteran Tony Morgan to head up the group which has a team made up of over a hundred impact investment professionals and a portfolio of more than 100 businesses which CDC values at $1.5 billion. He's based in London, reporting to CDC's Chief Executive, Nick O'Donohoe.
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.