The month of October was a remarkable one for Private Equity players as it saw the close and/or announcement of various deals as well as exits in the African investment landscape. A compilation of these deals is put forth below.
Twiga Foods, a Kenyan B2B food distribution company, raised $23.75 million in a Series B equity round led by Goldman Sachs, with participation from existing investors including the International Finance Corporation, TLcom Capital and Creadev. An additional $6 million in debt was raised from OPIC and Alpha Mundi.
DOB Equity, a Dutch family-backed impact investor in East Africa, invested in Moringa School, the technology learning accelerator, to help it capitalise on the fast-growing demand for technical-skilled professionals. Moringa provides digital and professional training to students, increasing their employability and access to the labour market.
Vantage Capital, Africa’s largest mezzanine fund manager, provided €8 million of mezzanine funding to Equity Invest S.A., the holding company for six Moroccan technology companies. Vantage’s funding has enabled the founder, Ali Bettahi, to secure a controlling equity stake in one of Equity Invest’s flagship subsidiaries by facilitating the buy-back of equity from an exiting private equity investor, PME Croissance, managed by AfricInvest.
Moringa, an impact investment fund initiated by the Edmond de Rothschild Group and ONF International, acquired a 46 per cent stake in SOBEMA (Société des Boissons et Eaux minérales du Mali). Created in 2013 by Dino Ballestra, a seasoned entrepreneur with a solid track record in the food industry, SOBEMA is a pioneering Malian company that aims at providing local markets with a range of different beverages, based on locally sourced ingredients.
South Africa’s Agile Capital, through its private equity fund with RMB Corvest, Agile Capital IV, has acquired a significant stake in Averge Technologies. Averge is a specialist solutions provider and distributor of components specific to both the communications industry and the energy sector, additionally providing related consultancy services to its clients.
SweepSouth, the online platform providing on-demand home cleaning services, announced its intention to grow its market share in South Africa and launch additional services following the closure of a successful funding round that has seen the company raise more than R50 million ($3.3 million) in new investment. The final deal signed in the funding round was with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, invested $1 million into the company. This investment follows the June announcement of a R30 million ($2 million) investment by Naspers Foundry. Existing investors Smollan, Vumela, CRE VC, and musician and venture capitalist Black Coffee have also reinvested.
The European Investment Bank has approved an equity participation of $50 million into African Development Partners III, a pan-African, generalist, closed-ended private equity fund advised by Development Partners International (DPI). The fund has a target of $800 million.
Adiwale Partners, the private equity firm focusing on growth capital investments for SMEs in French-speaking West Africa, has announced the first closing of its first fund, Adiwale Fund I at €50 million. The fund has attracted investors from Africa, Europe and North America. Investors include development finance as well as commercial investors.
Dutch development bank FMO has announced a €4.40 million investment in the Cathay AfricInvest Innovation fund. The fund, a partnership between private equity fund manager AfricInvest and Cathay Innovation, will contribute to the development and scaling up of innovative companies that demonstrate strong growth in Africa.
The IFC is investing $10 million in CardinalStone Capital Advisers Growth Fund (CCAGF), a private equity fund launched and managed by CardinalStone Capital Advisers. The fund will expand access to finance for high-growth, underserved small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria and Ghana. CardinalStone Capital Advisers is seeking $100 million in total for the CCAGF fund.
The Soros Economic Development Fund is injecting $10 million in the Cepheus Capital Growth Fund, focused on supporting business development in Ethiopia. It will join several leading regional and national development funds as limited partners in the $100 million investment fund launched by Cepheus Growth Capital Partners.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has revealed it is considering an equity investment of up to $50 million in Lorax Capital Partners Fund II. The fund, which has a target size of $250 million, will seek to achieve long-term capital growth by making equity and quasi-equity investments primarily in Egyptian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and mid-cap companies.
Helios Towers last month started trading on the London Stock Exchange after the company raised 288 million pounds ($364 million) in an initial public offering (IPO). The IPO gave Helios Towers a market capitalisation of 1.15 billion pounds ($1.45 billion). The company’s pre-IPO backers included private equity firm Helios Investment Partners, Albright Capital Management LLC, RIT Capital Partners plc, Quantum Strategic Partners, the International Finance Corporation, Millicom and Bharti Airtel.
Verod Capital Management Limited, via its sophomore fund, Verod Capital Growth Fund II LP, has completed an agreement and received regulatory approvals to fully exit its ownership of UTL Trust Management Services Limited, a Nigerian trust company based in Lagos. UTL is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission as trustee and fund/portfolio manager, providing trusteeship, estate administration, fund and portfolio management services to sub-sovereign, corporate and individual clients from a wide range of sectors across Nigeria.
Venture capital firm Newtown Partners has exited its stake in South Africa’s SweepSouth, an online platform providing on-demand and regular home cleaning services. Newtown achieved a more than 10x return on its original investment.