Last week in brief… Actual deals were thin on the ground in Africa's private equity, venture capital and infrastructure sectors last week. There were a couple of smaller transactions - GEMCORP backed consumer and SME lender afb with $20 million, while theIFC injected $20 million in equity into Agrivision Africa - but that was it. Most of the news that caught our eye was in the fundraising realm, both planned and actual.
Of these, a couple of were significant. Emerging Capital Partners, one of the most experienced private equity investors in Africa, announced that it is looking to raise an additional $750 million to invest in targets on the continent, while Standard Chartered's former Head of EMEA and Latin America Viswanathan Chankhar confirmed stories from early April that he is planning to raise between $750 million to $1 billion to invest in companies in Africa, South and South East Asia and the Middle East. He's looking to provide growth capital to emerging markets firms looking to break into other emerging markets.
The IFC was party to another investment funds story when it announced that it is teaming up with Chinese multinational construction and engineering firm CITIC to launch a $300 million investment platform that will focus on the development of affordable housing in sub-Saharan Africa. The strategy of the new venture, CITICC Africa Holding, is to partner with local developers and provide long-term capital for the development of 30,000 units over the next 5 years.
Choppies, which counts Standard Chartered Private Equity among its backers, was in the news again last week, this time for an acquisition. Having listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange earlier this year, the Botswanan food retailer entered into an agreement to acquire 10 retail locations in Kenya from Ukwala Supermarkets for $9 million. This helps it get inch closer to its stated goal of having 200 sites in 6 African countries by the end of 2016. In other portfolio company news, Mitchell Elegbe, the Founder & CEO of Nigerian payment processor Interswitch tellsBloomberg that the company is looking at the possibility of holding an initial public offering in Lagos and London in 2016. An IPO or trade sale would provide Helios Investment Partners andAdlevo Capital with an opportunity to exit their stakes in the company.
Finally, the World Economic Forum in Cape Town last week led to a raft of pieces about the current outlook for the 'Africa Rising' narrative. From calls for changes needed to encourage more private capital investment to help plug the yawning infrastructure gap to a piece by Elizabeth Littlefield, the CEO ofOPIC, on Africa at a crossroads, all are worth a read.
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.