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Weekly Wrap, May 23rd, 2016; Carlyle, Actis, Harith and others make private capital news last week

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Last week in brief…May 23rd, 2016

Some of  the heavy hitters in Africa’s private equity investment ecosystem made a reappearance last week after an absence of some weeks. In the biggest reported deal of the week, Mazarine Energy, an upstream oil and gas company with assets in Tunisia was the beneficiary of an undisclosed investment from The Carlyle Group. Tacked onto the deal is an equity line of up to $500 million for the Netherlands-headquartered company to access for future bolt-on acquisitions in Europe, Africa and the broader Mediterranean region. The investment is being made through the $2.5 billion Carlyle International Energy Partners fund.

Meanwhile Actis, the private equity firm that has over $3 billion in investments across Africa, is investing an undisclosed amount in Mundiapolis University. The investment will support the private Moroccan university’s plans to expand its offering and accelerate its internationalization.  It’s the latest of a number of education deals for Actis, which has backed education businesses in growth markets to the tune of almost $400 million in recent years, capitalizing on the trend for emerging market families to secure their own and their children’s future.

Harith General Partners has announced that it is purchasing a significant stake in NOVO Energy, a South African integrated gas company that services the needs of vehicular, industrial, commercial and residential customers across Africa using compressed natural gas technology. The investment is being made through Harith’s Pan African Infrastructure Development Fund 2 which is targeting a final close of $1 billion, and recently announced a first close of $435 million.  The deal allows Harith to participate in a market which is widely accepted to be a significant part of the energy mix and economies of a number of African countries for the foreseeable future. The investment will accelerate the roll-out of infrastructure required to link gas supplies and gas markets in Africa.

On a smaller scale, Phatisa’s Pan Africa Housing Fund has agreed to back the development of 301 middle income residential properties on a 21 hectare site in the Lusaka’s Makeni suburb, a 20-minute commute from the centre of the Zambian capital. The Camland Villas development is a multi-phase, build-to-sell project featuring two and three bedroom homes in an area well-serviced by a host of newly built shopping malls, factories, clinics, schools and colleges. The deal marks the sixth investment for PAHF, a $41.95 million fund which began operations in early 2013.

For its second investment in two weeks, XSML Capital, the Dutch investment fund manager focused on SME opportunities in Central Africa, has made an undisclosed investment in Laboratoire BIS, a manufacturer of generic pharmaceuticals in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The deal is being made through the Africa Rivers Fund, XSML’s second fund the Africa Rivers Fund which held a $45 million first close in February this year and targets debt, equity and mezzanine financing opportunities in fast-growing SMEs in deal ranging from $100,000 to $5 million in size.

In fundraising news, One Thousand & One Voices, the private family capital fund looking to raise $300 million, has secured $121.3 million from over 35 LPs so far according to a filing make with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The private equity fund, which solicits minimum investment commitments of $100,000 from high net worth individuals and family offices, targets opportunities in agribusiness, consumer, retail, logistics and manufacturing industries in sub-Saharan Africa.

Over the last week to ten days, The Abraaj Group has featured in a number of items about planned or potential private equity deals in Africa; the stories rang from news of three imminent deals in Sub-Saharan Africa to a potential $500 million investment to build a mid-tier hospital chain on the continent to leading a syndicate of investors to bid for a significant minority stake in Barclays Africa Group.

In its recently published report on Venture Finance in Africa, VC4Africa, the venture capital portal, has found that the growing levels of interest in African startups from international and domestic investors has seen the amount of invested capital more than double in 2015 when compared to 2014. According to the 2016 Venture Finance in Africa report, investors invested $73 million in capital in 2015, jumping up from $27 million in 2014, with the average amount invested per venture increasing from $200,000 to $326,000 over the same time period.

And finally, an interesting profile of Capital Eye, the South Africa investment firm that has launched a $100 million venture capital fund. Disrupt Africa sat down with Ravindra Mistri, an associate at the firm to discuss the fund, its strategy and the types of firms it looks to invest in.

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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