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Weekly Wrap, August 29th, 2016; DOB Equity, Jacobs Capital, Afinitas and others make private capital news last week

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Last week in brief…August 29th, 2016

Last week was one of the quieter weeks, deal-wise, of this year. The biggest investment, dollar-wise, looks to have been the R300 million backing of Masonite by Jacobs Capital in partnership with Black Bird Capital. The South African wood manufacturer had applied for business rescue in December last year, and the competition commission gave the green light to Jacobs and Black Bird offer recently. They’re looking to recapitalize the business and help broaden its product lines.

In an undisclosed deal, DOB Equity is taking a minority stake in Twiga Foods, a mobile-based supply platform for retail outlets, kiosks and market stalls in Kenya. Vendors buy fruit and vegetables from Twiga using their mobile phones, who then deliver the ordered produce supplies directly to the retailers’ stalls. The capital will be used to help Twiga expand its supply capacity, increasing their market reach to over 7,000 vendors in Nairobi selling to 1.5 million low and middle-income customers.

Meanwhile, in a bet on Africa’s demographic dividend, Afinitas is investing $2.5 million in Adventis, a new African financial services company which will be incorporated in Jersey. Afinitas will look to leverage its network across the continent to source a wide range of attractive financial services investment opportunities.

Listed private education company ADvTECH reported its interim results for the first six months of the year last week. As part of the announcement, the South African-headquartered company revealed that it has made two acquisitions during the period – a full buyout of Capsicum Culinary School and a stake in distance learning specialist Oxbridge Academy. No financial details for either deal were disclosed. You may remember that the IFC announced that it had spent $22 million for a 4% stake of the company in July, via a private placement.

The Emerging Markets Private Equity Association released the statistics for private capital investment in the first half of the year last week. The data show an overall decline in investment in the regions, a result of what the industry body calls “sluggish activity in China and other larger markets.” Africa was not immune either, with both the MENA region and Sub-Saharan African region posting fundraising and investment declines.

In sector news, PwC published its annual Oil & Gas report. Speaking at the launch of “Africa Oil & Gas Review 2016”, the management consultancy’s advisory leader for Africa, Chris Bredenhann, said that, in spite of low oil prices, now is the time for the continent’s governments to overhaul their regulatory, fiscal and licensing systems to attract investors to the significant opportunities that exist in the sector.

And the Brookings Institute took a look at recent economic trends on the continent and considered whether they signal an end to the narrative of Africa’s rise. At a recent event held by the institution, panelists concluded that was not the case – rather this is a time for reflection and change on the continent. They review some of the more effective strategies countries can explore to counter the commodity price slump, improve and increase financing and leverage new sources of revenues.

As always, you can review these and other stories by clicking through to this week’s complete issue of Africa Capital Digest.

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