Imara, an asset management and advisory firm with several African offices, has been acquired by FWA, an investment holding company formed by Fleming Wulfsohn Africa. Ultimately a take-private deal, steps will be taken to start the process of delisting Imara from the Botswana Stock Exchange in the coming weeks.
FWA is backed by nine family offices from the USA, Europe and South Africa with significant experience of investing Africa and within the financial services sector. The investment firm was established in 2013 to source private equity and real estate deals in sub-Saharan Africa on behalf of international investors and first took a financial interest in Imara in 2015. Since then, FWA’s founders, Hector Fleming, Harry Wulfsohn and Tom Gaffney have been involved with Imara’s operations.
It’s expected that the acquisition will help reduce the company’s cost base, simplify its focus and, most importantly, concentrate management effort on growing the group’s four underlying operating divisions—namely asset management, corporate finance and advisory, Securities, and Trust and Administrative Services.
“The increase in FWA’s shareholding in Imara is a natural evolution since FWA’s original investment in March 2015,” said Harry Wulfsohn, Imara Executive Director. “We have developed a high regard for the quality of the people at Imara across the range of its activities in asset management, private equity, corporate finance, stockbroking and trust services. We intend to build on this platform and drive growth while ensuring stringent cost control.”
With its legal headquarters in Botswana, Imara has additional offices in Angola, Malawi, Mauritius, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe and has plans to expand its footprint to East Africa. With approximately $350 million under management, the firm employs 120 people and is confident in its ability to expand its asset management platform across Africa.
Bookbinders provided the firm with legal advisory services in Botswana, with several other law firms acting for the company it other legal jurisdictions. Imara’s in-house corporate finance division worked on the transaction.