Amethis Finance has backed Sodigaz Group, taking a significant minority stake in the distributor of LPG bottled gas. Additional terms of the deal were not disclosed. The capital, which is fresh equity, will be used for capital expenditures, in particular increasing the stock of gas bottles in Burkina Faso to densify national coverage as well as launch the company’s regional expansion plans.
Launched 40 years ago, Sodigaz now has a commanding share of Burkina Faso’s market, estimated at 60%, and competing with the oil and gas majors through its network of almost 2.000 exclusive resellers. The company sells over 45,000 tons of gas annually in a market that has expanded at a rate of 20% over the past 5 years. Amethis’s investment coincides with the appointment of a new CEO at Sodigaz, Lala Bolly, who has been with the firm since 2011, and whose plans for the firm include institutionalizing the group, consolidating coverage of its home market as well as launching its services regionally.
“We are happy to support the growth of an ambitious Burkinabe group, managed with energy by a young CEO and with a dynamic senior team,” said Khady Koné-Dicoh, the Investment Director who lead the deal for Amethis. “The management’s desire to build on the national success by densifying its territorial coverage and to transform into a regional champion is very promising for the future growth of Sodigaz and matches the value creation strategy of Amethis.”
As part of the deal Koné-Dicoh and her colleague Jean-Thomas Lopez will join the Sodigaz Group Board. The investment is being transacted on behalf of Amethis West Africa, a €45 million sub-investment vehicle dedicated to opportunities in the CIMA zone (Confédération Interafricaine des Marchés de l’Assurance), which covers almost the whole of Francophone Africa. Established with investments from Amethis’s €275 million Fund I and other regional investors, Amethis West Africa is one of the first investment vehicles incorporated in Côte d’Ivoire and has three assets in its portfolio – CDCI, a network of supermarkets in Côte d’Ivoire, Novamed, a network of private hospitals and healthcare providers in West Africa and now, Sodigaz.
CMS Lefebvre provided legal advisory services for Amethis on the deal, while EY conducted the required financial due diligence and Ibis the necessary ESG due diligence for the transaction.