Archive for the 'SME' Category
January 29th, 2013 by Tom Minney
Entrepreneurs running small and medium-enterprises (SMEs) in West and East Africa stand to benefit from a new $75 million private equity fund. The announcement follows the news on 29 Jan that two long-term partners are merging.
InReturn Capital (www.inreturncapital.com) is a private-equity company based in Nairobi (Kenya) that invests in SMEs across East Africa, and it plans to close a legal merger in the first quarter of 2013 with London (UK)-based Jacana Partners (www.jacanapartners.com), a private equity specialist in SME investments, which has been building capacity in private equity managers in Africa.
The new partnership will offer a significant boost for East African entrepreneurs seeking value-add expertise and growth capital. InReturn was investing in transaction size of $0.5m-$1.3m and the partnership with Jacana will mean increased access to private equity investment, dedicated investment teams on-the-ground coupled with international private equity expertise and larger deal sizes of between $1m-$5m.
InReturn has rebranded as Jacana Partners. The two firms have been working together for 3 years. Jacana’s West African operations (previously Fidelity Capital Partners) rebranded in August 2012. This creates a leading pan-African SME private equity firm with pan-African coverage which will manage the new $75m SME fund expected to close later this year.
Jacana currently operates in 6 markets (Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Uganda) and intends to move into 2 new countries with the new fund, possibly Ethiopia, Nigeria and/or Francophone West Africa. It is the only pan-African private equity company with a permanent commitment to the SME sector.
Jacana has invested over $20m to date in 20 portfolio companies employing over 1,300 people. In East Africa, 5 investments have been made to date in a stone quarry, an eye care centre, a supplier of tarpaulins to the relief sector, a serviced office provider and a logistics company and several other transactions are contemplated in the next few months.
Professor Njuguna Ndung’u, Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya commented in a Jacana press release: “East Africa is undergoing a period of rapid economic growth largely fuelled by the expansion of our small-to-medium sized enterprises – key generators of job creation and GDP growth. The merger being rolled out today brings scale to the financing of SMEs which will boost their contribution to East Africa’s economic growth. It is my expectation that we shall see more similar initiatives to scale up financing to SMEs that lie at the heart of development blueprints for governments in the region.’’
Passionate about Africa’s entrepreneurs
Getting closer: Ezra Musoke (left) and Anthony Gichini (right) of InReturn Capital flank Simon Merchant CEO of Jacana Partners.
Anthony Gichini, Partner at InReturn Capital said: “The merger of InReturn Capital with Jacana Partners represents a big step forward in private equity investment for SMEs in East Africa. Jacana’s unique model combines international private equity experts with highly-experienced local teams, meaning our entrepreneurs benefit from strategic advice from international business experts as well as dedicated African investment managers on-the-ground who can add-value and provide hands-on management support. This combination is our winning formula which helps us build strong businesses and deliver superior returns.”
Simon Merchant, CEO of Jacana says: “Jacana Partners is a pan-African private equity firm that invests in entrepreneurs, builds successful SMEs and delivers sustainable financial and social returns. We do this because we are passionate about entrepreneurs as the key drivers of job creation and long-term economic development in Africa. Jacana is uniquely structured to overcome the challenges of private equity investing in SMEs in Sub-Saharan Africa. Combining internationally experienced private equity veterans with highly skilled teams on-the-ground, Jacana has the experience, knowledge and resources to structure great deals, grow sustainable businesses and deliver superior returns.
“By merging our African and European operations, we are consolidating our business into a single fund manager, operating under the Jacana brand. As well as investing the remaining capital from our existing funds, the new Jacana will deploy a new $75m SME fund that we are currently in the processing of raising from international investors.
“The new fund will allow us to significantly increase the scale and geographic reach of our operations and will be invested in SMEs in up to 8 countries in East and West Africa. We firmly believe that a unified Jacana operating under the unique Jacana identity is the optimal platform upon which we can fulfill our mission of building the best SME private equity team in Africa, creating sustainable jobs and supporting long-term economic growth.”
January 21st, 2013 by Tom Minney
The Egyptian Exchange (EGX -www.egx.com.eg) has approved the listing of the 23rd company on Nilex (the Nile Exchange – www.nilex.com.eg), the EGX market for growing medium and small companies. A meeting of the listing committee on 17 January approved to list the shares of Al Fanar Contracting Construction Trade Import And Export Co, which has 8 million shares, at a par value of EGP1.00 (USD0.15) each, according to the Nilex news feed. The shares were due to be added to the database with effect from 20 January but were not to be traded until the company and its Nominated Advisor comply with listings requirements.
Listing standards set by the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (www.efsa.gov.eg) require a disclosure report and an approved study on the fair value of the company’s shares. The company has 6 months to meet other conditions set by EFSA (Board of Directors decree no 81 of 17 Oct 2011) or its listing “should be considered as if it never took place”.
For instance, also on 17 Jan the Listing Committee decided that the listing of the shares of National Investment and Reconstruction (Nirco) shall be terminated and it should be considered never to have been listed and it was removed from the EGX database effective 20 Jan 2013.
The previous Nilex listing was International Company for Medical Industries (ICMI), approved on 30 Dec and listed on the database from 31 Dec, with a share capital of EGP4m ($604,000) at par value. Trading would wait for the requirements to be complied with. The Egyptian Modern Education Systems (MOED) was approved on 12 Dec and added to the database on 16 Dec.
Companies wishing to list on the Nilex must work with a Nominated Advisor and new rules and requirements have been issued. There are 35 approved nominated advisors listed here. According to the Nominated Advisor requirements, the Nominated Advisor acts as coordinator between issuer and the exchange, advises and helps the company on all responsibilities during the application process and after listing, helps the company fulfill ongoing disclosure obligations, informs the regulators of non-compliance, helps the company with its initial public offering, and must provide research coverage. These obligations last for 2 years from date of listing.
Nilex started trading on 3 Jun 2010 and the trading sessions were set from 11am-noon with an automatic close period from 11:50-noon. The initial listings were: El Badr Plastic; Masria Card; TN Holdings for Investment; Kato Agriculture Development Co.; Utopia Real Estate Investment and Tourism; Ameco Medical Industries; International Company for Fertilizers and Chemicals; Al Oroba Trading Mining and Supplying; Al Moasher for Programming and Information Dissemination and El-Barbary Investment Group (B.I.G) with trading suspended in the last 2 until they submitted the disclosure reports. All started trading at par value.
According to the latest market report (posted 21 Jan here but updating daily on this link), the most active company yesterday was Marseille Almasreia Alkhalegeya For Holding Investment with 34 trades totaling EGP141,061 ($21,300) in value, followed by Utopia with 24 trades totaling EGP111,398.
November 5th, 2012 by Tom Minney
According to news reports, the Board of the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange is close to negotiating an exit package with CEO Emmanuel Munyukwi, who was suspended in May. Board chairperson Eve Gadzikwa was reported by The Independent’s businessdigest that the board was in the process of concluding negotiations and an announcement is due in the coming week. ZSE operations executive Martin Matanda is acting chief executive.
Munyukwi has been CEO since 2001 but has been a key manager of the ZSE before that and was a valued colleague when this correspondent was running the Namibian Stock Exchange before 2000. The businessdigest suggests that although Munyukwi had been suspended on charges of alleged incompetence, currently the Board was negotiating an exit package with him and a figure of US$1 million was mentioned. Tony Barfoot, the previous CEO of the ZSE, was reportedly removed as consultant in April 2012, according to a report in Newsday.
There is no news on who will be the new head of the ZSE. It is possible that a potential candidate will be sought among Zimbabweans with experience of working in an automated and advanced securities exchange.
The Securities and Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe is reportedly working with the ZSE, introducing a central securities depository and electronic trading, with plans to automate the ZSE by March 2013, according to the news reports. One report says that SECZ has contracted a private company to develop a framework for establishing an electronic securities trading platform. State-owned ZB Financial Holdings has 13% of the CSD, National Social Security Authority 13% and Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe 10%, according to a shareholding agreement. The Expression of Interest tender for the CSD was published in 2010.
SECZ is also working with the ZSE on demutualization, although the ZSE is a private company more structural transformation may be possible. The tender for the advisory work on “ZSE Privatization” had a closing date of either March or September 2012, but the bidder was supposed to find their own funding for the work.
The Securities Act was amended in August 2012 to make SECZ more effective, extend its powers and give more protection to investors. This requires all securities exchanges in Zimbabwe to be companies, not mutual associations or other corporate bodies. There is a single Investor Protection Fund and the SECZ takes over regulation of asset managers and managers of collective investment schemes from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. The CEO of the SECZ is Tafadzwa Chinamo.
Listings Executive Lina Mushanguri also told businessdigest that the ZSE is drafting a framework to set up a board for small and medium enterprises as part of the ZSE, which she said they would call it the “SMEs Stock Exchange”. This will have adjusted rules and regulations. The newspaper reports that income for the ZSE “last year” was $1.6m and expenses were $1.0 million, giving a surplus of $612,947. The ZSE website has been inoperative for many months and the ZSE annual report is not available online.
By 2 November the ZSE market capitalization had climbed back to $4 billion, after being below this for more than a year. It reached a high of nearly $4.3 billion in May-June 2011. Foreign investors contributed 80% of turnover in October, according to a report in the Standard newspaper.
March 9th, 2012 by Tom Minney
Abraaj Capital, a leading private equity manager investing into Africa, Middle East, Asia and Turkey, recently announced the acquisition of Aureos Capital, a global private equity fund management group investing in small and medium-sized enterprises across Asia, Africa and Latin America.
The combined entity will have approximately US$ 7.5 billion in assets under management, presence in over 30 countries and 153 investments managed by a seasoned team of over 150 investment professionals with unmatched local expertise.
Aureos has operations in over 20 countries, US$ 1.3bn in funds under management and over 250 deals completed in the SME segment in the last 20 years. Its reputation is growing SMEs through combining local insight, extensive proprietary networks and presence. Abraaj’s $650 million SME platform is Riyada Enterprise Development (“RED”).
The transaction will create the world’s largest SME focused private equity group targeting SME investment opportunities across the high growth markets of Asia, Africa, Middle East and Latin America. Aureos and RED will benefit from synergies and operate under the single brand “Aureos”, but all Aureos and RED funds will continue according to their existing fund mandates and investment guidelines. The expanded Aureos platform will retain its inherent structure and team within the Abraaj Group.
Mustafa Abdel-Wadood, CEO of Abraaj Capital Limited said: “This is a very exciting opportunity for Abraaj Capital and enables us to further extend our leadership position in emerging markets. Aureos is a globally respected private equity firm with a dedicated team of investment professionals who have extensive experience and knowledge of the markets they invest in, with a geographical footprint totally complementary to Abraaj with no overlap. Both Abraaj Capital and Aureos are ‘home grown’ emerging markets private equity firms with a similar philosophy and shared values. This acquisition is an important step in our expansion into Latin America, South East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa and a new chapter in the Abraaj Capital story”.
The proposed transaction has been strongly supported by Aureos’ core investors, including CDC the UK’s Development Finance Institution. Rod Evison, Managing Director, commented: “Aureos has been able to build its investment business on a track record of careful and market-orientated investment in SMEs, so today’s announcement is good news for entrepreneurs in emerging markets. It will mean increased access to capital and local expertise for businesses to help them grow and reach their potential”.
The acquisition, which is subject to necessary approvals from the relevant authorities and one group of fund investors, is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2012.
Abraaj Capital group was formed in 2002 and is headquartered in Dubai. It has raised over $7bn and distributed around $3bn to investors. It employs over 170 and has a presence in Riyadh, Istanbul, Cairo, Singapore, Mumbai, London, Karachi, Beirut, Ramallah, Amman, Casablanca, Algiers and Tunis. The group has helped accelerate and facilitate the growth of over 50 companies in 15 countries in the region, in attractive and fundamental sectors such as healthcare, education, energy, aviation and logistics. It manages 8 funds: 4 private equity Funds, Riyada Enterprise Development (a Fund dedicated to small and medium enterprises in the Middle East), Kantara (a Fund dedicated to small and midcap enterprises in North Africa), ASAS (an income-generating, real estate Fund) and a 2004 vintage real estate Fund. The Abraaj Capital group currently has over $6bn of assets under management. In 2011, Abraaj Capital was ranked the largest private equity firm in emerging markets worldwide by Private Equity International. In addition, Abraaj Capital has won many regional and international awards, including the ‘Middle Eastern Private Equity Firm of the Year’ for six consecutive years, awarded by Private Equity International.
Aureos was established in 2001 and has increased its funds under management to $1.3bn and extended its geographical footprint to over 50 emerging markets covering Asia, Africa and Latin America, by establishing 17 regional private equity funds. It has 25 offices worldwide, over 90 investment professionals. Investors in Aureos funds include institutional investors, bilateral and multilateral development finance institutions, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, fund of funds, family offices and foundations and high net worth individuals.
August 25th, 2011 by Tom Minney
Morocco’s Casablanca Stock Exchange (www.casablanca-bourse.com) is offering grants to small and medium enterprises to encourage them to raise capital. It is offering up to 500,000 MAD (approximately $63,740 at current exchange rate for Moroccan Dirhams) from 1 July 2011 to 31 December 2012. According to an announcement on the bourse’s website, the offer is because of important role played by SMEs in the development of the Moroccan economy.
The grant is given under certain conditions and the SME must be listed on the stock exchange’s Growth or Development boards and have equity of less than 50 million MAD. It also needs to issue at least 20% of its capital and to use the IPO to raise capital. Normally the cost of an IPO is 2.2%-5% of the capital raised and the stock exchange says this can be a barrier to raising more capital.
First listing for 2011
STROC Industrie S.A. (www.stroc.com) on 30 June became the first new listing on the Casablanca Stock Exchange in 2011. The company had planned to offer 288,515 extra shares at MAD357.00 each, raising a total of MAD 102,999,855 ($13 mn), with the offer dates from 20-22 June. However the offer attracted 7,229 bids for a total of 2,515,369 shares, 8.7 times oversubscribed, and was closed on 21 June.
STROC joins the “Engineering and Industrial Equipment” sector. Société de Travaux de Réalisations d’Ouvrages et de Construction Industrielle was founded in 1989. Al Istimrar Holdings has 57.7% of the shares and Nabil Ziatt a further 14.6% while the free float on the stock exchange is 23.1%. The company said it chose to raise capital for its development through the capital market as part of its strategy to be open and transparent to its customers and the financial community. It will use the capital to expand its plant and equipment and build a new headquarters.
March 9th, 2011 by Tom Minney
The International Finance Corporation (www.ifc.org), a member of the World Bank Group, on 8 March announced it was investing $10 million in equity in Catalyst Fund I LLC. The fund aims to stimulate employment and accelerate economic growth across East Africa by improving access to equity financing for emerging and mid-size companies.
Catalyst Principal Partners (www.catalystprincipal.com), a private equity firm based in Kenya, has raised $70 million for the fund. Other investors include the African Development Bank, the Commonwealth Development Corporation, Germany’s development finance company DEG and PROPARCO of France.
The fund will invest in growth companies with dynamic management to drive growth, regional expansion, consolidation, and performance improvement. Investments in target companies will range from $5 mn to $15 mn. It will be managed by Catalyst Principal Partners LLC, and aims to invest in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and other East African countries. It will provide financial and management advice to up to 14 mid-size companies across different sectors.
Paul Kavuma, Chief Executive Officer of Catalyst, said: “We anticipate additional substantial commitments in the coming months to achieve our target fund size. We are particularly encouraged by the interest expressed from regional pension funds and insurance companies, noting that we have already received significant capital from reputable local institutions and private investors.”
Jean Philippe Prosper, IFC Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, said: “IFC is supporting this fund to help East Africa’s entrepreneurs gain better access to finance and promote the high growth and dynamic companies that encourage sustainable development and create jobs and new opportunities.”
IFC is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. Investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010.
December 21st, 2010 by Tom Minney
Jacana (www.jacana.org), a UK-based group that supports emerging SME private equity firms in Africa, has launched its second investment, a strategic partnership with Ghanaian fund manager Fidelity Capital Partners Limited (www.fidelitycapitalpartners.com).
Jacana’s investment, announced on 13 December, will enable Fidelity Capital Partners to expand the senior team. Jacana will also provide hands‐on management support to the investment team and the portfolio companies ahead of the planned launch of Fidelity’s third fund in 2012.
Fidelity Capital Partners was founded in 1999 and is one of West Africa’s leading SME private equity firms. It manages two SME funds – Fidelity Equity Funds I and II – with a total of $32 million under management.
Stephen Antwi‐Asimeng, Senior Partner of Fidelity Capital Partners, commented in a press release: “We approached Jacana as a strategic partner because we believe that the combination of our local market experience and deal flow with their international expertise in private equity will be a powerful one which will enable us to scale new heights.”
Fidelity manages the funds on behalf of a number of investors, including Ghana’s Social Security and National Insurance Trust (www.ssnit.com) and Venture Capital Trust Fund (www.venturecapitalghana.com.gh), Netherlands-based Oikocredit (www.oikocredit.org) and social venture capital fund Sovec (www.sovec.nl), and leading development finance institutions (DFIs), such as FMO (Netherlands) SIFEM (Switzerland) and Finnfund (Finland).
Claude Barras, Managing Director of SIFEM and Ben Zwinkels, Senior Investment Officer of FMO, both Board Directors of Fidelity Capital, commented: “We believe that the combination of Jacana and Fidelity Capital will enhance returns for all investors and help us to achieve our development goals in Africa. We are excited about working together with Jacana and supporting both partners in their future growth.”
Jacana was founded by European private equity experts and its mission is to contribute to long‐term poverty alleviation by attracting public and private investment to SMEs in Africa and by partnering with and developing local private equity fund managers. Jacana adds capital and expertise and enables its partners to grow their teams, build their track records and raise larger funds. It is Jacana’s second partnership, following its investment in InReturn Capital, an East African SME investment firm, announced in June 2010 (as reported on this blog.
The partnership with Fidelity Capital enables Jacana to extend its footprint in Sub-Saharan Africa and further develop its track record in building successful SME private equity firms.
Jacana was founded in 2008 by a group with substantial experience in the private equity and venture capital industry in Europe. Its co‐founders include Stephen Dawson (a pioneer in the UK VC industry 30 years ago and a co‐founder of Impetus Trust, a venture philanthropy charity), Lord Joel Joffe (a philanthropist with a background in human rights law, a successful entrepreneur and former Chairman of Oxfam), Connie Helyar (a successful entrepreneur in fund administration for private equity) and Simon Merchant (a successful entrepreneur and VC investor). Jacana’s vision is the creation of a sustainable, responsible and robust SME growth capital industry in Sub‐Saharan Africa that supports local SMEs, fuels economic growth, creates employment and thereby makes a major contribution to the reduction of poverty in Africa.
Fidelity Capital Partners Limited was established in February 1997 and started business in November 1999 as a venture capital and private equity fund manager and corporate finance advisor. Fidelity Capital’s shareholders include its management, local and international private investors, and development finance institutions. It is also the local investment partner of Africinvest Capital Partners Limited (www.tuninvest.com), a Pan‐African private equity fund management company.