The week in brief…November 17th, 2014
News of planned and actual fund raising activity grabbed most of our attention during the last week. In the first of a couple of exclusives, Private Equity News broke the story that African Capital Alliance is aiming to raise $600 million for its fourth fund, Capital Alliance Private Equity IV. The fund will invest in growth equity deals in West Africa, with a significant proportion of the fund earmarked for opportunities in Nigeria. In the second exclusive, Private Equity International reports that Verod Capital has held a successful first close for its debut fund at $55 million. Sources tell PEI that they expect the fund to hit its hard cap of $125 million by the year’s end. Meanwhile, Vantage Capital is raising R2.5 billion for its third mezzanine fund, targeting its final close for the end of the first quarter next year.
On the debt financing front, TMT Finance reported that IHS Towers is seeking upwards of $700 million to help finance the deal it struck with with MTN Group in September. This is on top of the $600 million debt tranche of the bumper $2.6 billion equity/debt financing package that it sealed a couple of weeks ago. Investor demand for this company’s paper is expected to be strong.
Hard news of actual deals was actually relatively thin on the ground last week compared to the week before. Once again, African Capital Alliance makes its second appearance of the week with an undisclosed investment from its third fund in Filmhouse Cinemas, the fast-growing Nigerian cinema chain and its movie production subsidiary Film One. Film One is the firm behind two blockbusters in Nigeria thus year – ‘Half of a yellow sun’ and ‘October 1st’ – and the capital injection will be used to scale the organization further. In other deal news, Aabar Investments, a subsidiary of the UAE’s sovereign wealth fund acquired at 5.1% stake in Egyptian listed property developer Palm Hills. You may remember that Ripplewood took at 2.3% stake in the company earlier this year.
And finally, an interesting post in the Financial Times by Mike Casey, EMPEA’s director of consulting, in which he examines various data points around private equity investments in Africa in context with other merging market private equity industries. A number of useful reference points and conclusions can be drawn from his insight.
You can review these and other stories by clicking through to this week’s complete issue of Africa Capital Digest.