Category Archives: nigeria

Why African firms list at London

“Fundraising via small cap IPO” was the title of a webinar last week, that was hosted by Jonathan Nelson of HF Capital and which featured Gokul Mani and Ope Sule, both of the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

In nine months of 2021, London has had 81 IPO deals that have raised $20 billion. It is one of the top 3 global exchanges after the USA and Hong Kong, but London is the largest international market (of the 2,000 listed firms, 700 are not from the UK), while the others mainly comprise local firms. 

There are 160 African firms on the LSE and these include Airtel Africa,  VivoJumia and Acorn.

Why list at London?

  • Firms will get the right price: With $100 million assets, a company can raise $35-40 million
  • A listing makes it easier to raise more money; when a company is private it can spend 6 months raising money. But once listed on the LSE, it can raise $30-40 million overnight 
  • 30% of LSE firms are listed on 2 or 3 other exchanges.  London partners with Nigeria and South Africa exchanges so if a company lists in London, it doesn’t have to provide too much additional information to list on South Africa with a bit more in Nigeria.  
  • To list at London, a company should be valued at about $50-70 million for the Aim board and $150-200 million for the Main one. 
  • Compare this to the US where a company needs to aim for a $5 billion valuation. If this is lower than $3-4 billion, the US is not for them, but London will give that investor appetite. 
  • London is primarily institutional and by fundraising there, companies are dealing with professional money managers while China is mainly retail (45-50%)  as well as the US (30-45%), London retail is 10-12%.
  • London can value technology firms, unlike (African) local markets – and most of the technology firms raising money this year are loss-making, but the market can still price them.

What firms will need to do? 

  • It costs a lot to raise money in terms of the time to meet investors and do roadshows. 
  • To raise $10-20 million, the fundraising cost is 5-6%, but for a larger target of $100 million, it would be 2.5-3.5%. 
  • Firms are advised to hire a public relations (PR) as well as investor relations (IR) firms that are based in London – spending $200,000 a year for these.

M&A Moment: May 2021

Various merger/acquisition (M&A) deals in the last few months in East Africa since the last update.

(1 US dollar equals 110 Kenya shillings)

Banking and Finance: Finance, Law, & Insurance M&A

Kenyan Banks

  • The Competition Authority approved the acquisition of 24.9% of the Montessori Learning Centre by Victoria Commercial Bank.
  • Stanbic Africa gets an extension to the end of 2021 to increase its Stanbic Kenya stake to 75%, by acquiring 14.8M shares from other shareholders through the NSE
  • Mwalimu National Sacco has acquired 100% ownership of the trouble-ridden Spire Bank from business tycoon, Naushad Merali – via @moneyacademyKE

Regional Banks

  • Equity Bank to merge BCDC_RDC & Equity Bank Congo which are its subsidiaries in DRC.
  • I&M Holdings PLC has completed the acquisition of 90% of Orient Bank Limited from 8 miles LLP and Morka Holdings Limited. OBL is the 12th largest bank and a licensed and established commercial bank in Uganda. with 70,000 customers and a network of 14 branches. 
  • KCB Group to acquire 62% of BPR, Rwanda’s second-largest bank, and 100% of Bank ABC in Tanzania – two banks that Atlas Mara had offered to Equity Group.
  • Atlas Mara to sell its Botswana bank, BancABC, and its subsidiary’s BancABC Mozambique to Access Bank.
  • Atlas Mara denies receiving offers from a Nigerian or any other bank to acquire its stake in UBN – the Union Bank of Nigeria.
  • Atlas Mara has completed the sale of BancABC, its Mozambique bank to Access Bank.

Investment Markets and Deal Makers

  • The Johannesburg Stock Exchange to acquire a majority stake in South Africa’s second-largest share registry.

Insurance

  • Allianz will acquire a controlling stake in Jubilee Insurance’s property & casualty business in Kenya, Tanzania & Uganda and the short-term insurance in Burundi and Mauritius for USD 100 million. In the deal, Jubilee will acquire the business of Allianz in Kenya to draw on its global expertise in retail, digital insurance, and micro-insurance.
  • The Competition Authority approved the acquisition of 56% of Agriculture and Climate Risk Enterprise (ACRE Africa) by Zep Re (PTA Insurance Company)
  • The Competition Authority approved the proposed acquisition of 100% of Resolution Leapfrog Holding by Linkham Services.
  • Liberty Holdings to buy out the Coronation (Hilton, Vanderbilt) and Kimberlite fund shares in @LibertyLifeKe in a private deal. Liberty shareholding increases from 57% to 73%, but no plans for a buy out offer and shares will remain listed on the NSE.
  • Monarch Insurance to sell a majority stake (51%) of the company to the Holmarcom Group of Morocco through its holding company “Holmarcom Insurance Activities.” The Kamu Group and Maisha Bank will remain as minority shareholders.
  • Minet Group and Africa Lighthouse Capital have acquired Aon’s shareholding in Aon Botswana, and will now operate as Minet Botswana.
  • Old Mutual Life Assurance has been acquired by UAP Life Assurance for Kshs 2.59 billion.

Remittances

  • The proposed merger involving ECP Africa Fund IV LLC and ECP Africa Fund IV A LLC and Remitix Holdings (Mauritius). Remitix is a Mauritius-based holding company, which holds the business known as the “Mukuru,” a cash remittance technology platform that allows users to send or receive money across various countries in Sub- Saharan Africa and provides foreign exchange services.
  • WorldRemit to acquire Sendwave .. in the last 12 months, the two companies have sent $7.5 billion in transfers (mainly to West and East Africa), generating $280 million in revenue
  • Stripe acquires Nigeria’s Paystack for $200M+ to expand into the African continent.
  • Ghana’s remittance firm Zeepay acquires Mangwee Mobile Money in Zambia – via @SamWakoba

Other

  • The Competition Authority approved the acquisition of 85% of Century Microfinance Bank by Branch International on condition that they each maintain terms agreed with existing borrowers until they expire.
  • South African law firm Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr (CDH) and Nairobi-based corporate law boutique Kieti Law have agreed to a merger, established under CDH’s name.
  • Kenyan agency banking startup Tanda is expanding its operations regionally after closing a funding round and has secured key strategic partnerships with Mastercard & Interswitch. Tanda’s platform and network supports 58 banks and saccos, 4 telecoms, 12,000 merchants and agents and has served over 300,000 customers.
  • The business of Altima Africa has been transferred to Stratostaff EA Ltd.

Agri-Business, Food & Beverage M&A

  • The Competition Authority approved the proposed acquisition of 50% of Bidco Land 0′ Lakes limited by Aaryan Investments.
  • The Competition Authority approved the proposed acquisition of control of the bakery business of Kenblest Ltd by Kenblest Foods, the proposed acquisition of the maize milling business of Kenblest Ltd by Max Grains and the proposed acquisition of control of the wheat milling business of Mcneel Millers by Kenblest Processors. Kenblest once owned 12.5% of Imperial Bank before it shut down.
  • The Competition Authority approved the proposed acquisition of Glacier Products by ExEo Capital through their Agri-Vie Fund II
  • Eat’N’Go acquires the Domino’s Pizza and Cold Stone Creamery franchises in Kenya – and aims to grow from running 147 stores in Nigeria and Kenya to 180 across Africa by year-end.
  • Certain assets of the manufacturing, production, processing and dealing in agricultural and farm products business carried on by DNC Foods will be transferred to Bigcold Kenya.
  • The assets of the meat processing and food distribution business carried on by Alpha Fine Foods Limited will be transferred to Bigcold Kenya.
  • Coca-Cola European Partners has acquired a 25% stake in Innovative Tap Solutions (PourMyBeer) whose technology allows consumers to pour and pay for drinks themselves, cutting queues, reducing unnecessary contact & wait times, and freeing up staff.
  • The Kenya Ministry of Defense is doing public participation to facilitate the transfer of the Kenya Meat Commission from the Ministry of Livestock to the Department of Defense.
  • The Competition Authority has approved the acquisition of 50% of Propack Kenya by Jaiminia Patel. Propack had a turnover of Kshs 711 million in 2019.
  • EDIT: Tana Africa Capital has acquired a minority stake in Kensington Distillers & Vintners (KDV) that owns majority stakes in Monument Distillers Kenya, Monument Distillers Nigeria and Truman & Orange South Africa. KDV offers high-quality wine and spirit brands and plans to grow its footprint into other high-growth African markets. Tana, a JV between the Oppenheimer Family and Temasek Holdings, has raised $600 million and invested in a diverse portfolio across 20 African countries.

Logistics, Engineering, Manufacturing & Agri-Biz M&A

  • The business and assets of Mindtrac Ltd carrying out the business of e-commerce software development will be transferred to Dukaree Innovations Ltd which will carry on the business of e-commerce software development.
  • Amethis acquired a minority stake in Nouvelle Minoterie Africaine (NMA), a leading FMCG company in Sénégal, which produces and distributes poultry and livestock feed, pasta and wheat flour.
  • Carbacid shareholders vote on the Kshs 1.24 billion buyout of BOC Gases at the end of January and may de-list the acquired company in future. Carbacid set out to acquire 100% of BOC Kenya and BOC accepted the offer and agreed to retire directors, transfer trademarks, and rebrand as all employees will be retained. Carbacid and Aksaya are confident that minority BOC shareholders will accept an offer to buy 100% of the firm at Shs 63.50/share by 6 April. BOC’s board, having sold its 65%, says the deal is willing buyer, willing seller and will not make a recommendation to fellow shareholders.
  • Logistics platform Amitruck and ecommerce platform Sky.Garden announced a partnership to form an end-to-end digital chain for goods pick-up and deliveries to the last mile.
  • The Competition Authority has approved the acquisition of certain assets of Orbit Enterprises by R. K. Sanghani. Orbit had a turnover of Kshs 97 million in 2019.
  • The Competition Authority has approved the proposed joint venture between Elopak AS and Nampak Southern Africa Holdings.

Airline/ Oil/Energy/Mining M&A

  • Heirs Holdings and its affiliate, Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc have acquired 45% participating interest in Nigerian oil licence OML 17 (that can produce 27,000 barrels of oil per day) and related assets from Shell Nigeria, Total Nigeria and ENI and have sole operatorship of the asset. The deal involves financing of US$1.1 billion from a consortium of global and regional banks and investors (Afreximbank, ABSA, Africa Finance Corporation, Union Bank of Nigeria, Hybrid Capital, and Amundi).
  • The Competition Authority approved the acquisition of control of Quantum Power East Africa GT Menengai limited by Globeleq, CDC’s energy firm. QPEA is among three firms that were awarded contracts by the Geothermal Development Company (GDC) to develop power plants in Menengai.
  • The Nairobi Securities Exchange suspended trading in Kenya Airways shares following a request from the airline in anticipation of a government buy-out.
  • Express Kenya CEO Hector Diniz gets approval to buy another 5% and increase his combined shareholding to nearly 77%, but with no intention to make a take-over offer or delist the company from the NSE.
  • Transcorp acquired Afam Power Plc and Afam Three Fast Power in a $300 million deal in November 2020.  
  • Amitruck has secured an ‘undisclosed’ investment from Dynamo Ventures and other angel investors after completing the Google for Startups Accelerator Africa.
  • The Competition Authority has approved the acquisition of 60% of Raysut Cement by Zou Fengqi. Raysut had a turnover of Kshs 877 million in 2019.
  • The Competition Authority has approved the acquisition of 100% of Kilimapesa Gold by Mayflower Capital Investments. Kilimapesa had assets of Kshs 742 million in 2019.
  • The Competition Authority has approved the acquisition of (i) Solutions East Africa and (ii) Seagas Kenya by Proto Energy East Africa on condition that 80% of staff at the target companies are retained after the merger.

Education, Tourism, Real Estate & Supermarkets M&A

  • The Competition Authority approved the proposed acquisition of an additional 50% in Nakuru Meadows Development by Pan African Housing Fund LLC
  • Aleph Hospitality, an independent Dubai-based hotel management company has taken over the management of three hotels – Boma Nairobi, Boma Inn Nairobi and Boma Inn Eldoret, which are owned by Red Court Hotel, a subsidiary of Kenya Red Cross Society. In Kenya, Aleph also operates the Best Western Plus Westlands in Nairobi and has been awarded the management contract for a Protea by Marriott hotel in Kisumu, as well as a business hotel to be located in Mombasa.
  • Umubano Hotel in Kigali had been acquired by Madhvani Group for $13M after years under liquidation. The main issue with previous investors has always been a failure to make the requisite investment to expand the hotel which has been managed under Laico, Novotel, Meridian and Accord.
  • Thousands of Airbnb hosts got invitations to buy shares ahead of the IPO, but some did not respond.
  • Treasury plans to merge KICC with the Bomas of Kenya.
  • The Competition Authority has approved the acquisition of control of Mpala Wildlife Foundation Inc. and Mpala Ranch Ltd by  the trustees of Princeton University

Telecommunications, Education, Media & Publishing M&A

  • The East African Safari Classic Rally announced new owners, new management and a new direction for the world’s greatest classic rally, following Minti Motorsport UK’s takeover of the EASCR and Lynn Tundo was appointed as Managing Director of the Classic. 
  • MSP Sports Capital will invest £185m into McLaren Racing (McLaren F1 & IndyCar), acquiring a15% stake that will increase to 33% in 2022, in a deal that values the team at £560m.
  • American investment firm Dorilton Capital acquires the legendary family-owned Williams #F1 team.
  • TransAtlantic Capital Inc has acquired SUREBET, a Kenya licensed sports betting and lottery company. (via Nasdaq
  • Multichoice invested $112 million for a 20% investment in BetKing, a high-growth sports betting group with operations in Nigeria, Kenya and Ethiopia.
  • A trip down memory lane .. serendipitous that eLimu Kenya, a digital educational content firm, that was launched in the iHub, is now being acquired by iHub (CcHUB) 8 years later. – via @AmkaKenya
  • The CcHUB Syndicate that allows angels and early-stage investors to invest alongside CcHUB in high growth technology startups in Africa has funded three startups – Taeillo, Oneport and Stears Business after a due diligence process.
  • Ajua (formerly MSurvey), has acquired WayaWaya, the Kenya-based Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning known for its innovative Janja platform, that enables borderless banking and payments across apps and social media platforms.
  • Millicom International which trades as Tigo, has signed agreements for the sale of its operations in Tanzania and its stake in the AirtelTigo joint venture in Ghana, marking its complete exit from the African continent.

Health and Medical, Pharmaceutical M&A

  • Mastercard has invested in Kasha Global Incorporated, a purpose-driven e-commerce platform providing essential access to health and personal care products along with the information required to support everyday hygiene needs.
  • The Competition Authority had approved the proposed acquisition of control of Africa Bio Systems by Maisha Holdings.
  • The Competition Authority approved the proposed acquisition of 100% of Dudutech Integrated Pest Management by Bioline Group SAS.

Other Notes

  • The Competition Authority seeks whistleblowers who can confidentially share information on cartel-like behaviour, price-fixing, unsafe products, unauthorized mergers etc. – and they can get a reward of Shs 1 million.
  • Safaricom restructured its strategy and innovation division in FY20 and introduced a mergers & acquisitions department to support strategic acquisitions.
  • Kenya’s Parliament has complained about why the Privatization Commission has not had a substantive board for two years, after the terms of six directors lapsed in June 2019 – and that at a time when the government is engaging with the IMF on the reform of state-owned entities, the Commission only has five directors who are mostly government officials.

Cashless pushes around Africa

Nigeria: The Central Bank of Nigeria set a tariff of 3% for deposits and 2% for withdrawals of  more than Naira 500,000 (equivalent to ~$1,380) from individual accounts. They also set a tariff of 5% for withdrawals from corporate accounts, and 3% for deposits, over Naira 3 Million (equivalent to ~$8,280) from corporate accounts. This is in the states of Lagos, Ogun, Kano, Abia, Anambra, and Rivers States as well as the Federal Capital Territory. This is to promote cashless transactions. (Source)

Uganda: The Bank of Uganda has banned merchants from imposing surcharges for the use of electronic card payments and also the setting of minimum and maxim amounts that can be transacted on cars. In addition, they have asked banks in Uganda to harmonize tariffs that they levy on customers of banks for when they use each other’s ATM’s.

Kenya: Today is the deadline set by Kenya’s Central Bank after which the old series of the Kshs 1,000 (~$10 notes), bearing the image of the first President of Kenya, will cease to become legal  tender for transacting in the country.

Tanzania: Mobile app lender Tala suspended issuing loans in Tanzania. The company which claims to have lent over $1 billion to 4 million individuals will continue in Kenya which they say, with 3 million customers, is a critical part of their global business, and where they are piloting new financial education services. California-headquartered Tala also has customers in The Philippines, Mexico and India, and is backed by investors like PayPal, IVP, and Revolution Growth.

Zimbabwe: The Cashless push has gone awry in Zimbabwe where the Government has now banned Ecocash agents from making cash deposits and withdrawals for customers as these are now happening at values that are at variance. This has resulted in a situation where $1 in cash is worth ~$1.50 in digital money. 

MTN Nigeria Listing

MTN Nigeria has received approval and will proceed to list its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange on May 16, 2019. The company entered a settlement in December 2018 paying $53 million to the Government of Nigeria out of $8.1 billion tax demand and the listing is believed to be an extension of this process.

MTN entered Nigeria in 2001 and it has grown to be a key market for the Group. It accounts for 55 million of their total 210 million subscribers in Africa and the Middle East. 25% of their subscribers are in Nigeria compared to 13% in SA. They get 30% of revenue from Nigeria, compared to 29% from SA, with Nigeria growing in the double digits. MTN which has 79 million data customers and 27 million mobile money customers in 2018, plans to introduce mobile money in South Africa, Nigeria, Afghanistan and Sudan this year.

The Group owns 75.81% of MTN Nigeria through a Mauritius company while Nigerian shareholders own 18.7% through special purpose vehicles. 1.76% is owned by the Public Investment Corporation of South Africa.

With its shares introduced at 90 Naira each, based on recent private share sales, MTN Nigeria is valued at about $5 billion. All shares of the company are being listed and all shareholders will be able to trade their shares. MTN plans to get more Nigerians to increase their stake in the company to about 35% through the listing and a public offer that may follow. Besides Nigeria, the Group also plans to increase local ownership of its operations in Uganda and Zambia during 2019.

African Companies Foreign Listings

The listing of Jumia on the NYSE has elicited many discussions about how ‘African’ it is to qualify for the moniker of “first African tech IPO”.

London has been the listing home of many large African companies in the oil, gold, mining space for many years. It has also recently come to attract more banks, Eurobonds and Diaspora bonds. There are 119 African companies listed in London including top Nigerian banks while sovereign bonds of 11 African countries trade on the LSE.

Other recent listings have gone to foreign markets including:

  • Vivo Energy’s LSE listing in 2018, which was the largest IPO of the year in London.
  • In Nigeria, which is Jumia’s largest market, here’s an investor recap of all the listed ‘tech stocks’ on the Nigerian Stock Exchange which include Courteville, Triple Gee, NCR, eTranzact, CWG, Chams, and OMATEK.
  • After spinning off Multichoice, Naspers plans to list its international internet assets on the Euronext Amsterdam Exchange with a secondary listing in Johannesburg. The assets include companies like PayU, Souq, Flipkart (which was sold to Walmart in 2018), Tencent, and Mail.ru. It only makes 4% of its revenue in South Africa and accounts for 23% of the Johannesburg All-Share SWIX exchange. By listing 75% of the company in Amsterdam, this will reduce its weight in the South African exchange. Safaricom is in a similar situation in Kenya, accounting for about 40% of the value of the Nairobi Securities Exchange, but as its revenue is currently all from Kenya, a listing move away is unlikely.
  • Within Africa, the island nation of Mauritius is an attractive listing country and is considered a gateway to India and Africa for many venture funds. Listing there confers benefits including no capital gains or dividend taxes, and Mauritius can also grant residency to people who invest over $500,000.

Other foreign listings planned include:

  • Airtel’s listing of its’ business in 14 African countries is expected to be another large London blockbuster.
  • Kenya’s National Oil is a long-shot to be listed in London and Nairobi.
  • Dangote Cement which accounts for about a third of the Nigerian Stock Exchanges market capitalization plans a secondary listing in London later in 2019.
  • MTN is expected to list a share of its Nigeria subsidiary once a tax dispute matter is resolved.