Last week in brief...We're leading this week's edition with news of an exit that's dependent on the closing of a $1 billion deal. The exit is for Wendel Group, who'll dispose of its 13.3% stake in the Saham Group. The deal in question is South Africa's largest insurer's bid to acquire the share of Moroccan insurer (and Saham subsidiary) Saham Finances that it does not already own. Sanlam's the acquirer, through Sanlam Emerging Markets, its JV investment platform with fellow South African-insurer Santam. (And no, these frighteningly similar names are not made up - they are all that similar).

Helios Investment Partners and Gemcorp Capital are two members of a four member-syndicate loaning Africell capital to support its expansion plans. The 5-year senior loan facility will mainly support the mobile network operator's 4G roll-out to meet the Sub-Sahara's growing demand for data as well as allowing the firm the necessary flexibility to act opportunistically when necessary. Lintel Capital led and structured the $116.5 million debt deal, the additional terms of which were not disclosed.

In another, much smaller, private debt deal, the IFC is mulling a loan to Trivitron Healthcare Africa, a new medical technology company backed by private equity firm Investment Funds for Health in Africa or IFHA and Trivitron Healthcare Private, an Indian medical technology company. The new company will sell high-quality medical devices and instruments across the continent. The total capital required to establish the firm is estimated to be $10 million, with IFHA and Trivitron providing the equity portion of the project and, in approved, IFC providing the debt.

Consumer sector-focused private equity investor Uqalo has acquired a stake in Big Square, a rapidly growing casual dining chain in Kenya. The firm is investing fresh equity for an undisclosed stake to support Biq Square's growth plans. The business operates two branded chains, Big Square and Pizza Mojo, from nine outlets, a number that it aims to grow to thirty over the next 4 years. The company joins Twiga Foods and Kanoria Africa Textiles in Uqalo's portfolio.

Having backed Novastar Ventures' first fund, the European Investment Bank is mulling whether to make a commitment to the Nairobi-based private equity firm's second fund. The planned $120 million private equity fund looks set to pursue a similar strategy to its $80 million predecessor, backing early and growth stage businesses in sub-Saharan Africa which meet proven demand for basic goods and services, with innovative business models that widen access and improve quality and lower the cost of basic goods and services.

Bloomberg and Reuters uncovered two potential deals that would impact a couple of Africa-focused private capital investors. The first of these is a report by Bloomberg that Remgro is actively considering a deal to buy Vumatel, the South Africa fibre-to-the-home provider which counts Investec and Vantage Capital among its investors. And Reuters reports that Standard Chartered has reached a provisional agreement to sell its real estate investment arm which has a $700 million portfolio across Asia and Africa to Actis. If and when these deals come to pass, we'll report on them more fully.

Finally, Raza Hasnani has been appointed Head of Infrastructure Investments at Africa50. As head of Africa50 Project Finance's infrastructure investment initiatives, he will be responsible for leading the institution's investments using the private equity model, providing primarily equity and quasi equity with flexible exit options, while accessing debt from the African Development Bank and other DFIs.

As always, you can review these and other stories by clicking through to this week’s preview issue of Africa Capital Digest.

Allan Cunningham

Allan Cunningham

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.

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