• Wednesday, July 24, 2024
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Closing Landmark Deals in 2022 – Managing Director, PAC Capital Limited

PAC Capital Limited has been at the forefront of structuring finance deals for businesses to further their long-term growth plans. Humphrey Oriakhi, the Managing Director of PAC Capital, in this interview with BusinessDay highlighted how the firm serves as a gateway for attracting funds for businesses in Nigeria and across Africa. Excerpts:

PAC Capital has a track record of raising funds for businesses across several sectors of the economy. What structures or practices do you stay true to?

What we do as financial advisers or fund arrangers is to approach financing like the human DNA, where two humans can’t have 100 percent identical composition. For example, you would have to use a different strategy when raising capital for two banks i.e. Bank A and Bank B. In terms of specifics, Bank A is owned separately from Bank B, and even when we find companies with similar or common ownership, there will be a difference in terms of their brand, how well known they are, and how customers and investors perceive them.

When you combine all of that, it has a different appeal to an investor/financier and poses different challenges. We therefore have to carry out an assessment of the client’s funding requirement and customize an efficient and effective structure acceptable to investors/financiers. So, when it comes to what we do, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

Which of your accomplishments stands out and how did you close the deal(s)?

It is difficult to pick one out, especially looking at recent achievements. We recently raised approximately $300 million for Bestaf Exploration and Production Company in the oil and gas sector.

We also completed the first healthcare project finance being funded by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) in Nigeria under a dedicated and specialized product. We were the first to oversee the process and provide advisory services to help arrange financing for the CONMED product- a construction and medical tourism facility.

As previously stated, we have transaction pipelines in over thirty countries. Our goal is to have presence in all 54 African sovereign countries. We want to be able to provide capital raising and financial advisory services to companies that operate in these economies and be the go-to institution for financing matters. We are positioned to take on transactions that others find challenging

Those in the money business, such as banks, come to us for assistance in raising funds. We successfully raised $300 million in funding from Afreximbank on behalf of Titan Trust Bank (TTB) to support their acquisition of a majority stake in Union Bank Nigeria Plc (UBN), which is one of TTB’s efforts towards achieving a mission to take advantage of the identified gaps in the banking sector and address the unmet needs of the retail mass market, SMEs and corporate organisations.

No single transaction is the same; they all have their own quirks, challenges, and timing. Some can happen quickly, while others can take a long time; and all of this, for me, is dependent on other factors such as the client and their level of preparedness. So, we were able to close these deals using different approaches that were customized to each.

Read also: PAC Capital closes landmark acquisition for Titan Trust Bank

When it comes to regulations, how do you navigate the maze of rules that are unique to each African country?

We offer advisory services in areas where regulations are enforced. For us to conduct a transaction, our clients must be registered as a company in their home country. However, in most countries where we conduct business, we are not required to be registered, asides, we do not only provide services to businesses; we also provide services to sovereign countries and their agencies.

More so, we work with professionals who understand the rules and regulations of each country we do business with. It is essential that we observe these regulations so we do not put our clients and professionalism at risk.

We have provided and currently provide services in over 30 countries in Africa and some of our ongoing services are for public (government) agencies in these countries, while most are private sectors. These transactions are in different sectors of the economy and the knowledge of these sectors and the regulatory environment in Anglophone (Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone), Francophone (Cameroun, Guinea, DR Congo, Madagascar, Mauritania etc) and Lusophone (Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Cape Verde) countries are key.

What principles attract these countries to your organization?

Sometimes, it is the services you provide that sell you. I believe what draws them to us are the services we offer and our professionalism in delivering those services.

Ideas, Partnerships, and Solutions are three pillars that drive our business philosophy. Also, we have the ideas to provide the solutions they require, and we also collaborate with our partners to enter these markets.

To a large extent, we have a significant track record backed with evidence of our ability and capability. We were recently named the Best Investment Banking and Advisory firm in Nigeria by the World Business Outlook, and the Best Investment Banking Team in Nigeria in 2021 by Capital Finance International (CFI) based in London.

PAC Capital has made prominent marks in industries such as aviation, financial services, telecommunications, transportation, media and entertainment, etc. What is the point at which these industries intersect?

These sectors are not PAC Capital’s business; rather, they are sectors in which our clients operate. We act as a bridge between a fund provider and the company that requires the fund.

However, the common characteristic is financing. Whatever business you run, you will need finance to run it, and where we come in is to bridge any gaps in expertise that businesses may have to be appealing to a fund provider.

You may have an idea, but is it bankable? What we then do is to make it bankable or worthy of investment.

A complex transportation system, language difficulties, numerous currencies, and other issues confront Nigerian businesses with operations across Africa. How do you approach or handle these constraints?

Roadblocks to cross-border trade like language barrier, different currencies, logistics, and poor infrastructures are some of the challenges that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) seeks to address.

Delivering services across borders presents its own set of difficulties and possible problems. However, it also brings new opportunities. Planning and being aware of all the requirements have helped us to prevent complications so far.

At PAC Capital, we currently have a pipeline of transactions spanning approximately 30 African countries, each with its own unique differences. Exploring possible options to cater to these differences while delivering customer satisfaction is one of the things we are good at. We welcome and understand the uniqueness of our clients, therefore we are positioned to provide the right solution to our stakeholders.

More so, communication, availability, transparency, integrity, accountability, collaboration, professionalism and partnership are some of the measures we deploy to navigate those differences. These and more are some of the measures we have put in place to address cross-border constraints in satisfying our clients.

What message do you have for potential clients, and what can we expect from PAC Capital Limited in the future?

As previously stated, we have transaction pipelines in over thirty countries. Our goal is to have presence in all 54 African sovereign countries. We want to be able to provide capital raising and financial advisory services to companies that operate in these economies and be the go-to institution for financing matters. We are positioned to take on transactions that others find challenging.

As a Pan African-focused company based in Nigeria, our focus is the entire African continent and the Caricom (Caribbean Countries) who recently are desirous to be a key partner to Africa. We see the services that we provide as also contributing to the economy of Nigeria and Africa at large.

In the same vein, for businesses in Nigeria that want to expand to other parts of the continent, we can provide that hand-holding into other countries, and for those who want to come into Nigeria, we can also provide that guidance. We also provide post-financial-close services, so that some clients can ensure that they meet their obligations to their financiers or investors.

These and more are what our clients and potential clients stand to benefit when they trust us with their financial advisory and structured finance needs. Our doors are open to businesses across Africa looking to explore our ideas, partnership and solutions.