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Weekly Wrap, September 14th, 2015; AfricInvest, Brait, Helios, PIC make private capital news last week

Last week in brief…September 14th, 2015 

The biggest deal in Africa last week was in the mobile broadband space – namely Smile Telecoms’ $365 million debt/equity financing provided by a mix of investors and lenders. The equity component of the deal was quite small with the Public Investment Corporation, manager of the South African Government Employees Pension Fund, committing $50 million in equity. The balance of the financing will be a multi-tranche, multi-jurisdictional debt facility led by AfrExim Bank with participation from a number of other lenders. The funding represents one of the largest capital raises ever for a telecommunications operator in Africa and brings the total funding committed to Smile since its founding in 2007 to approximately $600 million.

In other deal news, AfricInvest concluded its exit from one of Kenya’s leading private schools, Brookhouse School. AfricInvest originally invested in the Kenyan private school in 2010, since when the private equity manager, together with other investors and management, have improved governance and transformed the school from a family-run school to a professionally managed top-tier educational institution. The transaction was structured through AfricInvest Fund II. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Investment company Brait announced it is planning to raise $541 million in a convertible bond issue. The capital will be used to boost its acquisition war chest. Meanwhile, Helios Investment Partners announced that they had paid back a $50 million loan from OPIC in full.  The loan which was issued in 2006 helped capitalize Helios’s first fund, a $305 million growth equity fund which went on to make six investments. To date, the fund has exited three of its investments.

In portfolio company news, West African utility company Eranove, majority-owned by Emerging Capital Partners, now has Axa as a significant stakeholder, following the French insurer’s acquisition of the 19% stake owned by diversified industrials group, Bouygues last week. The price they paid was not disclosed.

And finally, the African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (AVCA) published its Spotlight on North African private equity, concluding that the asset class has been relatively resilient in the face of the significant political and economic turmoil over the period of the study (2007-2014). Over the seven years, the report identified 156 deals totaling $5.3 billion in North Africa, with Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt attracting the lions share (some 90%) of all deal by volume and value. Of the three, Morocco was the standout, taking the single greatest share of deal volume between 2007 and 2014.

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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