Last week in brief... Some of Africa's larger private capital investment firms were involved in deals last week. And there were a couple of firsts too - a debut deal for a new fund and final close for a first-time fund, (and one of the larger closes of the year at that).
We start with an exit. Actis has sold the majority stake in Mentor Management Ltd or MML which it first acquired in 2011. The buyer is Turner & Townsend, a global construction and management consultant, who will merge its existing Kenyan business with the firm to create MML Turner & Townsend. While details of value or investment returns were hard to come by, we think it is safe to assume that Actis did quite nicely out of it, given that MML's revenues grew fivefold during their holding period.
Another couple of Africa's leading private capital investors teamed up to back an energy services business in Nigeria. African Infrastructure Investment Managers or AIIM and Helios Investment Partners were the two firms in question. They have agreed to back Starsight Power Utility with $30 million of fresh equity, but the breakdown of the investment and stake were not revealed. The deal is the second in as many weeks for AIIM who acquired a stake in Ghana's Amandi IPP the week before last.
EXEO Capital notched up its first deal for its second fund last week. The South African private equity investor is backing TerraSan, an aquaculture company operating on the South and West coasts of South Africa on behalf of Agri-Vie Fund II which has $175 million of capital in hand. The fund manager was attracted by TerraSan's strong management team, black economic empowerment credentials and sound corporate governance, all factors which position it well to benefit from the anticipated expansion of the aquaculture industry and be an ideal platform to add additional businesses to.
A significant new fund announced it had held its final close last week. Kenya-based Energy Access Ventures has won a total of $90 million in commitments for its first fund, EAV Fund I. The fund has already built a portfolio of six investments since it held its first close in early 2015 and will continue its strategy of backing companies operating across the electricity value chain that use innovative technologies and/or business models to boost access and productivity for Sub-Saharan Africa's businesses and consumers.
In other fundraising news, impact investor Goodwell Investments revealed that more than 30 investors have made commitments to their latest fund raise. Between them, the investor mix of high net worth individuals and family offices have committed €20 million or almost $25 million to the firm, which will be used to back rapidly growing companies that meet the demand for affordable quality products and services from sub-Saharan Africa's under-served consumers.
One of the continent's leading fund administration firms was the subject of its own acquisition last week. ABAX, the Mauritius-based advisory, corporate and business services provider has agreed to be acquired by Ocorian, a global provider of specialist financial services. The deal, which is expected to close by the end of March, is the latest in a series of four transactions undertaken by private equity-backed Ocorian in the last six months. While ABAX will be re-branded as part of Ocorian, Africa Capital Digest was told that the new owners recognize and value "...the strength of the ABAX name in the African market and, as such, will be looking to maintain a strong ABAX identity."
And finally, LeapFrog Investments has a new partner working out of its Johannesburg office for its financial services team. Raimund Snyders, the former CEO of 185 year-old insurer Mutual & Federal is expected bring his considerable African financial services market experience to bear on the operation and value enhancement of LeapFrog's portfolio of financial services companies.
As always, you can review these and other stories by clicking through to this week’s preview issue of Africa Capital Digest.
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.