Weekly Wrap, November 3rd, 2014; Emerging Capital Partners, Wendel, Abraaj and more make private capital news

The week in brief…November 3rd, 2104

Just as we were closing out this week’s issue, the biggest private capital deal in Africa since 2008 was reported by the Financial Times – a combined equity/debt package of $2.6 billion for telecommunications infrastructure group, IHS.  Backers include prior investors Emerging Capital Partners, funds managed by Goldman Sachs and theWendel Group, as well as new African, Asian and European investors eager for a piece of the deal.  The capital is earmarked for current and future acquisitions of telecom towers as well as building and refurbishing new and existing sites.

In July this year, Abraaj Investment Management proposed a deal to acquire 51% of the shares of Egyptian baker and snack maker Bisco Misr subject to the results of a technical study.  The study is now complete and shareholders representing 56% of the company’s shares have now agreed to sell their stakes.  Abraaj now has to submit a formal offer for the deal to close.

One of the biggest fund raising stories anywhere lat week was Warburg Pincus’ $4 billion close for its first energy-focused fund.  While most of the capital looks likely to be allocated to investments in North America, the fund does have global ambitions and will look at exploration and production expansion opportunities around the world, including Africa. Given the deals and partnerships struck by Blackstone and Carlyle to exploit energy opportunities in Africa, it seems likely to us that we’ll see this major global private equity investor joining its peers on the continent.

A couple of interesting perspective pieces caught our eye last week.  Firstly, from The New Yorker an article describing the challenges facing portfolio companies in ebola-stricken Sierra Leone,  The investments in question belong to west african SME investor, Manocap. It’s certainly not a story of despair, but it does give a glimpse of the pressures investors are under now and in the future as a result of this humanitarian crisis.  And secondly, the rise of the social investment conscious MBA, bringing their skills to impact investing at large companies and other organizations.  With one source estimating the amount of capital available for deals that require environmental, social or corporate governance returns to be a staggering $13.6 trillion, there is a huge opportunity across all frontier and emerging markets.

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

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