China’s Huaxin Cement targets East Africa with new acquisitions, Helios Towers raises $160 million.

Also, CDC $50 million debt investment and Kenya’s Sh108bn Eurobond issue offer oversubscribed.

This week’s roundup of news, trends, and insights for you the time-conscious Africa-focused business executive finance professional, and policymaker.

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2 things first

1) China’s Huaxin Cement makes a play for East Africa Markets.

Huaxin Cement a China-based company engaged in the production and sales of cement and concretes is looking to build its footprint in East Africa as it prepares to buy a 75% stake in Lafarge Zambia for $150m and US$10m on a 100% stake in Lafarge Cement Malawi. The acquisition follows Huaxin’s purchase of African Tanzanian Maweni Limestone from ARM Cement in 2020.

Why is this important? Africa cement market is growing as infrastructure and construction spending grows, with Nigeria’s local cement production capacity current at 45 million tons per annum, Tanzania’s production capacity of 3 million tons per annum, Kenya’s production capacity at 13 million tons per annum, and South Africa cement production capacity currently at 20 million tons per annum. This presents an opportunity for Huazin to increase its presence with two integrated plants having a combined production capacity of 1.5Mt/yr in Zambia, and a 0.25Mt/yr grinding plant in Malawi.

2) Kune raises $1 million for its ready-to-eat food service.

Kenya-based food-tech startup Kune has announced pre-seed funding of $1 million to fund the expansion of its ready-to-eat foodservice. The fundraising was led by pan-African early-stage VC, Launch Africa Ventures. Consonance Investments, Liechtenstein-based investment company, Century Oak CapitalGmbH, and Pariti, an ecosystem management firm also invested in this round.

Why is this important ? Increased urbanisation in most African cities, a young consumer segment and change in food consumption patterns are changing the demand for convenient, ready-to-eat food and frozen food products. Even with persistent power generation challenges, companies who can ensure a reduce time from food preparation to delivery have a chance to taking advantage of this growing market segment.

Private Equity Deals  :

  • The BUILD Fund an Impact Fund created by the United Nations Capital Development Fund and Bamboo Capital Partners has made its first investment of £500,000 working capital in Kenya-based Solar Energy Product Distributor Mwezi.

  • Nairobi-based Ed Partners Africa, an affordable private schools financing company, has raised $1.9m (Ksh205 million) from Acumen, I&P, and Zephyr with participation from existing investors to expand its presence and enable the unserved affordable private schools market access to credit.

Private Debt Deals :

  • CDC Group, the UK’s development finance institution (DFI) and impact investor, has announced a $50 million project finance direct debt investment to ACWA Power’s Redstone Concentrated Solar Power Project in South Africa. The project will provide 200,000 South African households with clean and reliable energy and help to offset approximately 480,000 tons of carbon per year – equivalent to the per capita emissions of 67,000 South Africans.

  • International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private-sector investment arm of the World Bank, is looking to provide a contingent disaster financing-linked loan of up to $50 million in local currency with a tenor of up to three years finance Kinshasa-based Equity Banque Commerciale du Congo (EBCDC) with local currency debt.

  • International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private-sector investment arm of the World Bank, has proposed investment which comprises up to €50 million loan from IFC’s own account and up to €72 million loan in mobilisation to Togo-based Togocom, a top telecommunications firm.   

  • AV Ventures the impact investing subsidiary of ACDI/VOCA, has provided a long-term loan of US$700,000 to Maphlix Trust Ghana Limited, a leading producer and exporter of fresh vegetables, roots, tubers, and fruits in Ghana.      

Venture Capital Deals:

  • Nigeria-based property technology company Seso Global has completed a pre-seed funding round from Kepple Africa Ventures, Rising Tide Africa, and Moabi Group as well as angel investors Albert Essien, Ibrahim Sanga, and Jamie Broderick.

  • Egypt-based Fatura, a tech startup that connects wholesalers and manufacturers with retailers through a mobile application, has raised $3 million in pre-Series A funding co-led by Sawari Ventures and Arzan Venture Capital with participation from Egypt Ventures, EFG-EV, Cairo Angels, and Khwarizmi Ventures.

  • Ethiopia-based logistics startup Eshi Express has raised funding from the Addis Ababa Angels (AAA) Network. The investment will be used to fund its expansion across the country.

  • Egypt-based fashion and lifestyle e-commerce startup DressCode has secured $250,000 from Egypt Ventures to fund its expansion in home decoration market segment .

M & A Activities:

  • Imperial Capital Limited has agreed to acquire 100% Deep Catch Nambia Holdings ( Deep Catch) issued share capital for about $45 million, from an investment consortium led by Salt Capital which also includes German development finance institution (DEG) and management shareholders.

  • Africa leading mid-market private equity fund EXEO Capital has completed a deal to sell its 62.7% equity stake held by its Agri-Vie Fund I in Cape Olive a major provider of table olives in South Africa to South Africa based Imibala a Lona Group.

  • Moroccan equity firm the Deposit and Management Fund (CDG) Invest has acquired sole ownership of public broadcasting channel Medi1 TV, after a MAD 105  million ( $11.9 million) buyout. 

  • UK-Moroccan oil and natural gas production company Sound Energy is set to buy out Schlumberger's exploration permits in Eastern Morocco for $1

  • ZCCM-Investments Holdings (IH) will transfer its entire 71.4 percent of issued share capital in Investrust Bank and its complete 100 percent of issued capital and shareholder loan in Mushe Milling Limited to IDC.

  • Kenyan based startup MarketForce, an end-to-end retail distribution platform for consumer brands, has announced the acquisition of Digiduka, which aims to bring informal retailers in Africa into the digital economy

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Fundraising Events:

  • Helios Towers an owner and operator of telecommunication towers in Africa have raised around $160m in an equity issue and convertible bond to strengthen its balance sheet and buy tower assets.

  • The Africa Renewable Energy Fund II (AREF II) managed by Kenya-based Berkeley Energy has raised $180 million from seven investors. The fund will focus on the development, construction, and operations of renewable energy assets and technologies across sub-Saharan Africa. Investors in the Africa Renewable Energy Fund II are  CDP, CDC, FMO, Proparco, Swedfund, Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA, managed by the African Development Bank), and the Clean Technology Fund (CTF, part of the Climate Investment Funds).

Liquidity Events:

  • Kenya’s Sh108bn Eurobond issue offer was oversubscribed more than four times, attracting bids worth Sh582.7 billion ($5.4 billion).

  • Nigeria’s Dangote Cement and Africa’s largest cement producer, has announced the successful issuance of 50 billion Series 1 Fixed Rate Senior Unsecured Bonds under the company’s new NGN300 billion Multi-Instrument Issuance Programme at coupon rates of 11.25%, 12.50% and 13.50% for the 3, 5, and 7-year tranches respectively.

Economic Updates:

  • Rwanda's economy advanced by 3.5% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2021, a sign that the country is recovering from last year’s pandemic-induced recession after three consecutive quarters of contraction.

  • The Central Bank of Egypt left its key overnight deposit rate steady at 8.25% in its June 17th, 2021 meeting.

  • The annual inflation rate in Malawi decelerated for the second straight month to 8.9 % in May of 2021

  • The Central Bank of Botswana left its benchmark interest rate steady at a record low of 3.75% during its June 2021 meeting.

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