Last week in brief… Two significant fundraising closes dominated private equity and infrastructure investment news in Africa last week. In the first, Mediterrania Capital Partners announced it had raised €120 million for its second fund which will target opportunities primarily in the Maghreb region—Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria—as well as consider broadening its sourcing activities to sub-Saharan Africa. The fund, Mediterrania Capital II, will look to take minority stakes in small and mid-market companies with equity values ranging between €25 million and €400 million.
In the second, South African investment company, Convergence Partners, announced the final close for its Convergence Partners Communication Infrastructure Fund (CPCIF) at $200 million. The fund, which started raising in 2013, reached its goal with the help of final capital commitments from the Public Investment Corporation, manager of South Africa’s Government Employees Pension Fund and an as yet unnamed “international commercial investor.” CPCIF plans to invest in opportunities across the ICT infrastructure spectrum on the continent, and has already made a number of investments--Comsol Wireless Solutions, a wireless network deployment company, FibreCo, a South African long-haul network as well as Synergy Communications, a platform company which holds two leading corporate ISPs, Skyband in Malawi and IS Mozambique.
There were a number of interesting deals last week, but none were very forthcoming as to their financial value. The most significant was Carlyle's exit, the first for the firm's sub-Saharan fund, through the sale of its minority holding in Export Trading Group to the firm's founders and senior management team. Carlyle originally invested alongside Standard Chartered and Pembani Remgro in late 2012 in a deal that was reportedly worth $210 million.
In other deal news, Helios Investment Partners has agreed to buy two financial services business units from international development company Crown Agents for an undisclosed sum. Crown Agents Bank and Crown Agents Investment Management provide clients with specialist payment, cash management, trade, treasury and investment services, offering tailored solutions for governments, development organizations, donors, central banks, pension and investment fund managers and corporations operating in emerging and fragile markets. And Adenia Partners has made its sixth investment from its third fund, the $125 million Adenia Capital (III), to take an undisclosed stake in Cresta Paints, an auto re-finish and industrial coatings manufacturer and distributor headquartered in Accra, Ghana.
Items from the Global Entrepreneurship Summit which took place in Nairobi, Kenya while US President Obama was visiting the country continue to trickle out. Last week saw an interesting Q&A with Steve Case on the demands of entrepreneurialism, a contributed article to Brookings Institution from Witney Schneidman as well as more information on the $13.2 million peer-selected venture fund raised by Village Capital.
And finally, as Donald Kaberuka's tenure as President of the African Development Bank comes to an end, a look at his successor Akinwumi Adesina's plans when he takes the helm in September. The consensus is that he will continue to focus the bank’s activities on two of his predecessor’s main priorities—developing the continent’s infrastructure and boosting private-sector-oriented investment.