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Weekly Wrap, June 15th, 2015; ACEI, Ethos, XSML and more make private capital news

Last week in brief…June 15th, 2015

Well-established South African investment manager Ethos Private Equity announced its 90th exit last week when it sold specialist plumbing and bathroom merchant Plumblink to The Bidvest Group for an undisclosed sum. Ethos acquired Plumblink in 2006, through its fifth fund, which it continues to harvest while simultaneously sourcing new investments for its sixth fund.

For the biggest deal of the week, we have to take a look at West Africa. US-based private equity fund manager American Capital committed approximately $85 million to back the 151.8MW wind power project which is being developed in Taiba Ndiaye, about 75kms northwest of Senegal’s capital, Dakar. The equity investment is being made through the private equity firm’s energy infrastructure investment arm, American Capital Energy & Infrastructure. Meanwhile, in yet another deal where the terms remain undisclosed, XSML Capital, the Dutch investment fund focused on SME opportunities in Central Africa, has made an investment in Lejack, a consumer products company based in Kinshasha in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The firm’s $1.9 million fund targets deals ranging from $100,000 to $500,000.

There were no fund raises last week. Fresh from snapping up two UK consumer businesses, Christo Wiese tells the Financial Times that he is on the lookout for new deals for Brait, the investment company in which he is a major shareholder. The firm’s interest in opportunities in so-called “sunrise industries” like renewable energy and other disruptive technologies is particularly high.

Meanwhile, a new private equity firm is making its debut in Namibia. Hangala Capital Private Equity received approval from the Namibia Institutions Supervisory Authority to be registered as an Investment Manager. Details of any planned funds or strategies were not reported.

According to CNBC, tech giant Google in in negotiations to become an investor East Africa’s largest private investment initiative, the $700 million Lake Turkhana Wind Power Project. Once completed, the 310MW-capacity plant will boost Kenya’s installed energy capacity by 20%. Sources tell CNBC that Google’s potential investment is not finalized and, if completed, would gain them a minority stake.

One of the continent’s most active startup investors is taking a break from making any fresh investments for the next 2 years. Since 2011, 88mph has invested in 36 companies located in Kenya and South Africa, fully deploying its funds in the process. According to a statement on their website, the form will spend the next 18-24 months working to build value in its current group of portfolio companies.

And finally, Lamido Sanusi,has been tapped to be the lead the Board of Directors for Black Rhino. The Emir of Kano and former Governor of the Nigerian Central Bank will join the board of Black Rhino as its Chairman, according to a statement on the energy infrastructure project developer’s website. He joins the firm following a distinguished 25-year career in banking.

Read more on these and other stories by clicking through to this week’s full issue of Africa Capital Digest.

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