Lona Group sells minority stake to Phatisa and a group of DFIs

Lona Group has sold a minority stake to Phatisa, a private equity investor, as well as a consortium of development finance institutions (DFIs) known as British International Investment, Norfund and Finnfund. Lona Group is an integrated fruit farmer, packer and storage facility for citrus, olives and grapes which are then traded locally or exported. The company was established in 1996 and has expanded to become one of the largest players in the South African market. Although the stake acquired or amount were not disclosed, it was indicated that the equity funding will be deployed to expand the diversified value chain of the Lona Group.

Phatisa is an African private equity firm with diversified capabilities and a well-respected track record. Established in 2005, Phatisa has financial and operational experience, industry knowledge, astute business acumen and a reliable network of African business relationships with over US$400 million in funds under management. The firm has operating offices in South Africa, Mauritius, Kenya, Zambia and the United Kingdom.

DRC based Jambo raises US$30-million from investors led by Paradigm

Jambo, a company based in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has secured US$30-million to build a web 3 education user platform that will be based in Africa. The funding round was led by Paradigm with several other investors such as Morningstar Ventures, Kingsway Capital, Gemini Frontier Fund, Shima Capital, BH Digital, Graticule Asset Management, Pantera Capital and ParaFi Capital. The funding will be allocated towards building the platform through increasing the staff complement as well as expanding to several other regions within Africa.

Paradigm is a crypto venture capital fund that was established in 2018 by Fred Ehrsam (Coinbase co-founder) and Matt Huang (previously a partner at Sequoia Capital). The fund size is US$2.5billion which provides the most significant firepower in the crypto investor market and has invested in companies such as BlockFi, Uniswap and Sky Mavis among many others.

Zambia based Union54 secures US$12-million equity funding for expansion

Zambia based fintech company, Union54, has secured US$12-million in equity funding led by Tiger Global for the expansion of its product in the market. Union54 provides the Application Programming Interface (API) for any company to issue virtual and physical cards without a bank partner or processor which is a significant component of its success in the Zambian financial sector. The funding will support the expansion of this technology although the stake acquired was not disclosed.

Tiger Global Management LLC (“Tiger Global”) is an investment firm focused on public and private companies in the global internet, software, consumer and financial technology industries. The private equity business has since 2003 invested in hundreds of companies across more than 30 countries, including investments ranging from Series A to pre-IPO. Tiger Global is an SEC-registered investment adviser based in the USA.

HAVAÍC reaches financial close on US$20-million fund

South Africa based venture capital investor, HAVAÍC, has reached financial close on its flagship fund known as the HAVAÍC Universum Core African Fund with a fund amount of US$20-million. The fund will be allocated towards early-stage technology companies in South Africa as well as companies in the East Africa and West Africa region. In raising the respective fund, HAVAÍC partnered with local and international investors such as Universum Wealth and Fireball Capital.

HAVAÍC is a venture capital firm that specialises in early-stage, high-growth post-revenue African businesses with proven concepts and global prospects. As a complementary offering, HAVAÍC provides corporate advisory and capital raising services to emerging, internationally scalable businesses. The firm is managed by Ian Lessem, Grant Rock and Rob Heath and has invested in RecoMed, Vula, BigTeam, InstantProperty, MPost and Tanda among many others.

Trail, a private equity firm based in France enters strategic partnership with Birimian Ventures (Côte d’Ivoire)

Trail, a French private equity firm, has agreed to proceed a strategic partnership with Birimian Ventures in a fund which will eventually close at an initial amount of €5-million. Trail intends to create an asset management platform that connects Europe, Asia and Africa based through sector-focused investment vehicles.

Birimian Holdings was established in 2021 by private equity industry veteran, Laureen Kouassi-Olsson. The fund is based in Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire) and aims to support African fashion brands in the continent to accelerate the growth of these businesses regionally and internationally. The fund will provide long-term financing of between US$30,000 and US$3-million (maximum) based on the different growth stages of each African brand.

Birimian aims to accelerate the emergence of African inspired designers on the international scene by positioning itself as their key strategic partner in 4 segments which are fashion & apparel, accessories, beauty & cosmetics and gourmet. Birimian is of the view that despite increasing international visibility of African heritage luxury and premium brands, upside potential is hampered by a scarce access to finance, limited production capacities and their exclusion from the international value chain. Birimian has partners such as the Institut Français de la Mode, Who’s Next, Premiere Classe and Asafo & Co among others.

Norfund provides US$8-million equity investment to Redsun Dried Fruits & Nuts (South Africa)

Norfund has provided an US$8-million equity investment to Redsun Dried Fruits & Nuts, a company that produces raisins and pecans in the Northern Cape province of South Africa. Redsun Dried Fruits & Nuts was established in 2009 and intends to expand its processing capabilities for exports to predominantly the US and EU regions. The company operates in the main raisin producing region of South Africa, where 90% of the product is produced.

Norfund is the Norwegian investment fund for developing countries with a mission to create jobs and to improve lives by investing in businesses that drive sustainable development. Norfund is owned and funded by the Norwegian Government to strengthen the private sector in developing countries and for reducing poverty in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Norfund is willing to assume more risk to prioritise projects that have strong potential development effects and profitability.

Kasada Capital Management acquires Cape Grace Hotel (South Africa)

Kasada Capital Management (“Kasada”) has acquired Cape Grace hotel which is based in Cape Town, South Africa. Cape Grace Hotel is a 120-bed hotel that was established in 1996 and is located in Cape Town’s Victoria & Albert Waterfront district. Kasada will also revamp the hotel to comply with the sought after green building certification. The acquisition is officially the entry of the hotel specialist investor into the South African hotel sector. The acquisition amount was not disclosed.

Kasada Capital Management is an independent investment platform that is dedicated to hospitality in Sub-Saharan Africa. The firm was established in 2018 with the backing of the Qatar Investment Authority (the sovereign wealth fund of the State of Qatar) and Accor (a world leading augmented hospitality group). Kasada operates its hotels under the international brand of Accor. The Kasada Hospitality Fund is registered in Mauritius and reached financial close in 2019 with equity commitments of over US$500-million.

M&A in education – Braeburn Schools acquires Hillcrest International School

Braeburn Schools Ltd has agreed to acquire Hillcrest International School, based in Kenya. Braeburn intends to continue operating the Hillcrest Schools under the Hillcrest brand and the transaction is expected to be closed in the third quarter of 2022 after the required approvals are obtained from the Ministry of Education and the Kenya competition authorities. Hillcrest International School has seen various owners, as it was acquired 3-years ago by the Dubai based GEMS Education for Sh2.6 billion from Fanisi Capital.

Braeburn Schools is a group of 16 co-educational international schools spread over 9-campuses that provides British National Curriculum and GCE A-Levels to over 3,600 pupils. Braeburn Schools was established in 1979 as a single school and the group has now grown to become the largest group of international schools in East Africa, with 16 existing schools.

Avanz Capital Egypt launches Avanz Manara for Private Equity (Egypt)

Avanz Capital Egypt has launched a fund that will be known as the Avanz Manara for Private Equity to support the growth of small to medium enterprises (SME) that are based in Egypt. The fund is expected to partner with local investors, overseas investors and also open the market for Egyptian banks to participate in the various transactions with financing. The fund will contribute to Egypt meeting its Sustainable Development Goals by supporting the SME market segment. The fund is looking to raise 2-billion Egyptian pounds and has already secured 905-million Egyptian pounds from Egyptian investors such as the National Bank of Egypt, Suez Canal Bank, Banque Misr, Banque du Caire, Ahli United Bank, United Bank, Attijariwafa Bank Egypt and Misr Insurance Holding Company.

Silvertree Holdings acquires South African meal kit delivery startup Ucook for R187-million (US$12-million)

Silvertree Holdings has acquired the remaining stake to reach a 100% stake in South African meal kit delivery startup Ucook for R187-million (US$12-million). Ucook is a dinner kit delivery service providing sustainable and ethically sourced ingredients straight to a user’s doorstep. The company was established by David Torr and Chris Verster-Cohen who felt there was a market for people who want a convenient way to make dinner. The acquisition reflects Silvertree Holdings’ ability to grow businesses that leverage technology to reach the end-consumer.

Silvertree Holdings is a holding and operating company based in South Africa that creates, launches, operates and invests in early- and mid-stage companies targeting the South African and Sub-Saharan African markets. The company has invested in upcoming tech companies known as Ucook, CarZar, PriceCheck, Faithful to Nature and CyberCellar among others. Silvertree Holdings was established in 2014 and has maintained a rapid growth trajectory.