Funds and fundraising news from Africa caught many people's attention last week. Of particular note was the announcement that the spin out of Standard Chartered's private equity business which we first covered in January this year has now completed.
The deal marks the official launch of Affirma Capital, a significant new emerging markets private equity fund management business managing $3.6 billion worth of assets. The management buyout follows a complex, 3-year process involving a group of Standard Chartered Private Equity’s partners with backing from London-based Intermediate Capital Group which is reportedly spending $1 billion for the portfolio of StanChart's assets.
Verod Capital Management seems to be in the process of securing one of the larger private equity funds of the year. The Lagos-based fund manager revealed that they had already hit the final $150 million goal for their third fund by last week's interim close, giving them the opportunity to raise more capital in time for the fund's planned final close at the end of the year. As with their previous funds, Fund III's LPs come from across the private capital investment spectrum.
Amethis Finance has a new fund in the market. The European Investment Bank is considering a commitment to Amethis MENA Fund II, a planned €150 million closed-end private equity fund targeting opportunities in the region. The fund's strategy is to make growth capital investments in SMEs in exchange for minority stakes.
Big names were involved with the week's biggest deal. Actis is buying a renewable power producer in a secondary deal from Denham Capital. The sale of BioTherm Energy gives Denham a full exit from the asset which formed part of Fund V’s portfolio. According to Denham's Scott Mackin, the sale has generated solid returns for the fund's LPs, despite a 60% depreciation in the currency over the course of Fund V’s hold period.
DPO, an online payments processing firm which Apis Partners first backed in late 2016, is acquiring PayFast in a cash/share deal. The funding for the transaction, which adds 55,000 South African merchants to DPO's client base, is being provided by Apis via its first fund and is the latest chance that the private equity firm has had to support the company’s expansion across the continent.
The week's remaining deals fell into the venture capital category. Energy Access Ventures and ElectriFi have participated in a Series A investment round for Solarise Africa, a pan-African clean energy and energy efficiency leasing company. The fresh capital will be used to support the firm’s market expansion plans as well as fund its project developments. Solarise Africa sells financing solutions to commercial and industrial businesses which they use to acquire and deploy clean energy systems, especially solar, with limited upfront investment.
HAVAÍC is backing an early-stage software business with an undisclosed amount of capital. The Cape Town-based VC is investing in Sortd, an email productivity software business registered in the USA with development operations in South Africa. Rob Heath, one of HAVAÍC’s Partners, has a seat on Sortd’s board.
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.