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Weekly Wrap, February 23rd, 2015; Actis, Harith, Qalaa and others make private capital news

The week in brief…February 23rd, 2015

The most notable deal news of the last week was the announcement that Actis is teaming up with wind and solar developer Mainstream Renewable Power to establish Lekela Power, a $1.9 billion pan-african renewable energy generation platform. The company aims to provide between 700MW to 900MW of wind and solar power across Africa by 2018. Actis is spending $220 million to take a 60% equity stake in the new company, with the balance being taken by Mainstream. The rest of the funding for the company will provided as debt by DFIs and South African banks. The partnership will operate in a similar fashion to the two successful partnerships the companies have formed in Chile and South Africa, with Mainstream taking responsibility for the full end-to-end management and operation of the new company’s projects.

Yet another battle to gain control of a listed food company seems to be raging in Egypt. Investment company Pioneer Holdings saw its bid to take Arab Dairy private trumped once again by Al-Nour for Dairy, a subsidiary of European dairy group, Lactalis. The latest bid values Arab Dairy at $52 million. Pioneer’s first bid for the company in September last year valued the company at $35 million.

On the venture capital front there were couple of deals last week. AngelHub Ventures made an undisclosed investment in e-book startup Snapplify. The capital will be used to expand the company’s product and team across the continent. In another deal,African Courier Express landed a $2.6 million round of funding last week from a number of investors including the ePayments Growth Fund, a new $10 million fund launched by Interswitch to invest in innovative and disruptive payment companies across Africa.

In other fundraising news last week, ARM and Harith’s planned $250 million closed-end private equity infrastructure fund held its first close at $91 million. Notably, Nigerian pension funds are among the investors in the fund, thought to be the first infrastructure investments made by these institutions through the private equity route. Other investors include the African Development Bank as well as the fund’s joint sponsors.

Two reports last week about potential exits in 2015. In the first, prompted by the need to have a disposal from their first fund before raising their second, Bloomberg reports that Rockwood Private Equity is planning to sell portfolio company Tsebo Outsourcing. Meanwhile, Qalaa Holdings is mulling whether to exit from its remaining Egyptian food businesses – Dina Farms and Rashidi El-Mizan. The investment company could realize approximately $300 million from the sales, which would be used to pay down debt as part of the company’s turnaround strategy.

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

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