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Africa CEO Forum: Sahara Group Links Success Of Integrated Trade To Infrastructure Development

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Kigali, Rwanda – March 26, 2019: Sustained infrastructure development is required across Africa to boost the prospects of integrated trade on the continent, Sahara Group has stated, as business leaders gather in Kigali, Rwanda for the 7th edition of the Africa CEO Forum.

Sahara Group’s Director for Governance and Sustainability, Pearl Uzokwe said the energy conglomerate would make a strong case for multi-stakeholder partnerships to shore up infrastructure development as “this is one of the most critical enabling factors required to achieve the ambitious ideals of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA).”

Uzokwe noted that the disparity in landscape composition across the continent is one of the most daunting barriers to economic development.

According to her, “There’s no doubt that infrastructure development should be accorded a prominent position on the agenda for the continent’s CEOs. The non-uniformity of Africa’s landscape confers some measure of advantage on countries with coastal lines as against nations that are landlocked. How to navigate this and other challenges to facilitate an integrated trade scenario remains a critical issue. The business community must be prepared to articulate a collaborative position that will address the achievement of the estimated $170 billion infrastructure funding gap in Africa,” she stated.

Scheduled to attend several meetings to push this position, Uzokwe will also join the AFRICA CEO’s Women in Business Initiative workshop dedicated to “Drafting a gender diversity charter to reach equality in the workplace”.

She said all stakeholders billed to attend the meeting are confident that the charter would drive specific actions geared towards ensuring there is adequate representation of approximately half the world’s population while becoming a catalyst for increasing female representation and retention at various levels of organizational hierarchies.

Uzokwe added that she was hopeful that the charter would also inspire more interventions to drive gender equality and more access to education for girls and women in Africa. “We are intentional about women empowerment and gender parity at Sahara Group and will continue to lead conversations and collaborations in this regard.  Our support for women goes beyond just our employees as over two million people have benefitted from Sahara Foundation’s projects, with women and girls accounting for over 50% of the beneficiaries. Some of the initiatives include eye care programmes, scholarships, literacy development programmes, career guidance programmes and water & sanitation programmes and will continually look for ways to encourage sustainable growth and development in this regard”.

– SAHARA GROUP

Banking / Insurance

Ecobank Transnational Incorporated debut $450 million Eurobond oversubscribed

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The proceeds will be used for Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI)’s general corporate purposes and to refinance existing Holdco obligations

LOME, Togo, April 18, 2019 – Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, ETI, the Lomé-based parent company of the Ecobank Group, is pleased to announce that it has successfully raised $450 million in its debut Eurobond which was oversubscribed.

The Global Offering is a 5-year unsecured note (144A/RegS) listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange. The bond matures in April 2024 and was issued with a coupon pricing of 9.5% with interest payable semi-annually in arrears.

The proceeds will be used for ETI’s general corporate purposes and to refinance existing Holdco obligations.

Investor interest was global, including United Kingdom, United States, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.

On this debut Eurobond issuance, Mr. Ade Ayeyemi, Group Chief Executive Officer of ETI, stated: “This is another first for Ecobank and I’m very excited at the prospects for the Group as we continue the second phase of our 5-year ‘Roadmap to leadership’ strategy. Our efforts toward greater operational and capital efficiency are paying off, and this offer is another example of the measures we are taking to strengthen our institution and deliver value for all of our stakeholders”.

The Group Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Greg Davis, also commenting on this Eurobond said: “The success of this Eurobond reflects appetite from high quality and real money institutional investors globally and the trust that continues to be conferred on our institution and the markets we have chosen to participate in.”

Ecobank

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World Bank okays project worth $200 mln to support SMEs in Egypt

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CAIRO – 18 April 2019: The World Bank gave its final approval to a new project worth $200 million for supporting reforms aimed at securing further jobs for young people and women in Egypt.

The project is meant to increase the volume of credit to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), for being a key source of economic growth.

In a statement released on Thursday, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr said the project comes within the framework of ongoing cooperation between the Investment and International Cooperation Ministry and the Micro, Small & Medium Enterprise Development Agency (MSME), with a view to backing entrepreneurs, especially women.

“Our partnership with the World Bank Group aims to enable women and young people to become successful entrepreneurs. This investment provides several opportunities for improving Egyptians’ standard of living, through creating jobs and establishing a strong foundation for the country’s economy,” the statement quoted Nasr as saying.

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The project targets increasing seed capital and early-stage capital, as well as capital risk available to innovative startups facing higher risks and newly-established SMEs with great potential for growth and job creation, the statement read.

ِUnder the project, around USD 50 million will be directed to private-managed risk management institutions, such as investment funds, business accelerators, venture capital funds and investment companies, for the purpose of outlining the initial stages of the Egyptian investment system, the statement noted.

For her part, Marina Weiss, Regional Director of the World Bank office in Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti, said “Egypt has shown a strong commitment to reforming its economy. Its reforms have begun to bear fruit, enabling the private sector to secure jobs which is an integral part of achieving a sustainable and overall growth”.

Also, she added that the WB is proud to support entrepreneurs across the country, notably women and young people.

The new program hinges on the success of the existing project “Promoting Innovation for Financial Inclusion”, which enables SMEs to get access to funding and promotes job creation in the private sector nationwide.

-Egypt Today

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Vantage Capital exits Thebe Timrite

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Thebe is one of South Africa’s leading black-owned investment companies, managing assets of over R6 billion ($420m)

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, April 18, 2019 – Vantage Capital, Africa’s largest mezzanine debt fund manager, announced today that it has fully exited its investment in Thebe Timrite (“Timrite”), a leading black-controlled supplier of mining support products and services in South Africa.  Vantage provided an R89m ($6,3m) mezzanine debt facility to fund the 100% acquisition of Timrite by Thebe Investment Corporation (“Thebe”) and the Timrite management team in 2013, as well as to fund expansion capital expenditure. Thebe is one of South Africa’s leading black-owned investment companies, managing assets of over R6 billion ($420m).

Mokgome Mogoba, Associate Partner at Vantage Capital, said, “the investment we made in Thebe Timrite demonstrates the support we provide to black-controlled businesses and our commitment to transformation in South Africa. Furthermore, it highlights the faith that we have in the resilience of the South African mining sector and the employment opportunities it creates. This was the second time we had partnered with Thebe as we had previously supported Thebe’s investment in Safripol, another successful investment.”

Luc Albinski, Managing Partner at Vantage Capital, added, “Vantage was an active participant in many board discussions over the past six years at Timrite, helping to shape the growth strategies of the company during a difficult time in South Africa’s mining sector. It was a privilege to engage with Timrite management and Thebe as the company diversified its product range through world-class R&D, introducing new products into the market that have made our mines safer.”

Nonhlanhla Mabusela, CEO of Thebe Timrite, said, “we are grateful to have partnered with Vantage Capital during both strong and turbulent times within the mining sector in recent years. Vantage’s funding did indeed play a key role in facilitating black ownership in the underground roof support market, placing Timrite miles ahead of its peers in its transformation targets.”

Sizwe Mncwango, CEO of Thebe said “We would like to express our deepest gratitude to Vantage Capital for the partnership and support afforded to Thebe in steering the company over the last 6 years. The exit by Vantage Capital allows Thebe to become a sole shareholder of Thebe Timrite and we are excited about the future of this business.”

To date, Vantage Capital has successfully exited nine investments generating proceeds of R2.6bn ($190m) across its three generations of mezzanine debt funds and achieved an aggregate money multiple of 2.0x.

Vantage Capital Group

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