Commercial News from Africa

Key commercial and political activity in Africa for private equity investors by DCE Partners, UK Private Equity advisors to Atta.

Africa's high growth makes it a great private equity target. Africa is gaining credence among mainstream investors as an investment destination. Of those investment mechanisms available, private equity is increasingly being seen as the preferred choice. According to numbers from London-based Preqin, PE investments have attracted US$2.4 billion last year, almost double the year before. Among the most recent signs of foreign investors' growing interest in the continent is Geneva-headquartered private bank Edmond de Rothchild's recent announcement that it had put US$530 million into its first African private equity fund.

Comesa grants Kenya US$2.6m.  Kenya will access US$2.6m to support regional integration programmes from Comesa. Comesa is the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa is a free trade area with nineteen member states stretching from Libya to Swaziland. The fund will also support domestication and implementation of regional commitments at the national level. An indicative amount of US$6.2m will be given to Kenya under a similar agreement over the next two years.

Green focused SMEs go interest free. Green energy-focused SMEs in Kenya are set to enjoy US$20m interest-free funding in loans and grants over the six years from Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund. The fund targets the best business ideas in green energy, innovative products or services that can help farmers to cope with extreme climatic events.

C&H Garments investing US$10m in Rwanda. Chinese-owned C&H Garments will open a garment manufacturing factory in Rwanda at a total investment of US$10m. The company has suggested that over time they intend to create thousands of jobs and invest hundreds of millions in an effort to build up the sector in Rwanda.

Samsung to build South African factory. Samsung Electronics is to build a TV factory in Durban investing US$20m in the process. Samsung wants to sell the TVs made there across Africa.

Blackstone announces new partnership in sub-Saharan Africa. Global investment firm Blackstone has announced that Black Rhino, a South Africa- and Senegal-based infrastructure development company backed by Blackstone Energy Partners and affiliated funds, will partner with West African industrial conglomerate Dangote Industries to jointly invest up to US$5 billion over the next five years in energy infrastructure projects across Sub-Saharan Africa. The partnership will focus on the development of power generation, transmission and pipeline assets.