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SAHIF secures $38 million recapitalisation to boost expansion

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The SA Housing and Infrastructure Fund (SAHIF), the largest black private investor in South Africa’s optical fibre industry, through one of its subsidiary has secured $38 million (R700 million) funding to recapitalise its business by settling the fund’s existing facilities with African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM) and Old Mutual Hybrids Equity.

In a statement obtained by BusinessDay, the company said it has also embarked on an international drive to raise capital to accelerate the expansion of high-speed internet access throughout the country.

Rali Mampeule, SAHIF CEO, said the company aimed to secure up to $225 million (R4.1 billion) in investments from both domestic and international sources, including pension funds, development finance institutions (DFIs), and limited partners (LPs).

Read also: From M&As to capital raise: What to expect from banks’ recapitalisation

“This successful capital raise has provided SAHIF with a robust investment platform to fast-track ongoing high-speed fibre internet access projects, particularly through its investments in MFN as an independent institutional shareholder not funded by its co- shareholder anymore,” said Mampeule.

“We want this initiative to pave the way for equitable access to high-speed internet, drive economic growth, and nurture innovation within previously underserved communities.”

In June 2021, SAHIF, together with Old Mutual’s AIIM and STOA, a foreign investment vehicle that is based in France, acquired the 25.8 percent interest in MetroFibre Networx held by Sanlam Private Equity, African Rainbow Capital and a minority shareholder, the transaction made the three entities to be the 80 percent majority shareholders of MFN.

Read also: Why CBN excluded retained earnings in its recapitalisation terms

MetroFibre was launched in 2010 and operated as a provider of fibre-to-the-business. It owns and manages its core network, a globally compliant Carrier Ethernet 2.0 open-access network and has expanded its service offering to residential and corporate customers.

Mampeule emphasised the significance of this capital infusion, stating, “We started knocking on doors in Davos, Switzerland, earlier this year, and we are currently in talks with several local and international pension funds, DFIs, and LPs.

“These engagements have been very fruitful, and we believe the capital secured will create a valuable investment platform from which SAHIF will scale its current investments.”

Read also: Vale Finance completes N500m recapitalisation to boost expansion

He said that in addition to its focus on digital infrastructure, SAHIF’s capital injection would expedite the delivery of affordable housing and facilitate strategic investments within the financial services sector.

“These initiatives would encompass innovative home loan products and the leveraging of cutting-edge technologies aligned with the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and Shelter Tech, both within South Africa and across Sub-Saharan Africa.”

SAHIF is accelerating the delivery of serviced land to South Africans. Since 2019, the company has delivered 68,000 land housing opportunities to South African families and, in the process, created thousands of job and entrepreneurial opportunities.