In News Highlight


For the biggest private equity deal announced in Africa last week, we have Capitalworks to thank. The South African investor has agreed to buy listed poultry producer Sovereign Foods in an all-cash deal for R907 million or about $67 million.

The offer, which is subject to approval by the Competition Commission, represents an almost 19% premium on the stock’s 30-day trailing average and a 33.3% premium over the price offered by Country Bird Holdings in its failed bid for Sovereign Foods last year.


Enko Capital is making an expansion capital investment in AMI Logistics, a Dubai-headquartered logistics business with significant operations in East and Southern Africa. The $7 million transaction gives the $64 million Enko Africa Private Equity Fund a significant minority stake in the company, as well as a seat on AMI’s board. Among other things, capital will be used to fund AMI’s acquisition of Manica Holdings, an established freight-forwarding and logistics business operating with five operating subsidiaries in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and Botswana.
Harith General Partners have agreed to acquire a 30% stake in Sheltam Mauritius, a rail operator which owns and operates one of the largest privately-owned fleet of mainline locomotives throughout Southern Africa. Financial terms of the deal were nt disclosed. In the first instance, the deal allows the Sheltam to bring some planned projects to conclusion, including a substantial reinvestment in the firm’s existing fleet of locomotives, the purchase of an additional three General Electric C30EMP locomotives as well as starting the development of Sheltam’s own workshop.
In fundraising news, A.P. Moller Capital, an affiliate of the Maersk shipping line family’s A.P. Moller Holding, will manage a new Africa-focused infrastructure fund which held a $550 million close last week, garnering commitment from several anchor investors. The fund, which is targeting $1 billion in time for a final close at the end of the year aims to deliver returns in the high teens as well as deliver significant economic, social and governance impact in the assets and regions in which it invests.
Other fundraising items last week concerned possible fund commitments by DFIs. Ethos Private Equity looks to be in line for an investment of $20 million by the European Investment Bank in Ethos Mezzanine Partners 3, its $150 million generalist fund which launched in February this year. Separately, the IFC is mulling a total of $45 million in commitments to a trio of Africa-related private equity funds.  All three have a North African investment component as part of their strategies. Of the total, $10 million is being considered for Beco Capital‘s latest venture fund, with Mediterrania Capital Partners planned third fund and AfricInvest‘s Maghreb Private Equity IV each possibly garnerig €15 million.
A couple of portfolio companies were involved in their own deals last week. Helios Towers Tanzania, a full subsidiary of private equity-backed Helios Towers Africa, is buying up all the mainland tower sites belonging to Zanzibar Telecom. The transaction involves buying 185 of Zantel’s towers whilst consolidating another 385, giving Helios Towers Tanzania’s a portfolio of towers which now numbers around 3,700 sites. Additionally, new Africa market entrant iflix landed $133 million in additional funding last week. Earlier this year, the emerging markets-focused video-streaming company raised $90 million to support its expansion ambitions in the Middle East and Africa, since when the firm has opened a Cape Town office. This latest round of funding was led by Hearst, the large American diversified media company.
Novastar Ventures, the East African venture firm, reported an active first half. The firm made three new deals and three follow-on investments for its $80 million East Africa Fund I which closed in 2015. . The specifics of each transaction remain undisclosed. So far, the fund has backed thirteen businesses, all targeting Africa’s aspiring mass market, where it lives and what it spends its money on.