February 2016 African Business News


African M&A deal volume at a seven year high, says Mergermarket

African M&A deal volume at a seven year high, says Mergermarket

A steady increase in African deal flow and interest from overseas investors since the financial crisis points to the increasing maturity of African countries as a destination for M&A.

South Africa considers merging South African Airways and SA Express

South Africa considers merging South African Airways and SA Express

South Africa will explore merging two of its state-owned airlines, South African Airways (SAA) and SA Express, and seek a minority equity partner for the company, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Wednesday.

Private equity firm African Capital Alliance buys 49% stake in Continental Re

Nigerian PE firm African Capital Alliance buys 49% stake in pan-African reinsurer Continental Re

African Capital Alliance (ACA) announced in early February its purchase of a 49% stake in Continental Reinsurance Plc, the largest private pan-African reinsurer outside of South Africa.

Investec successfully closes 2nd Africa private equity fund at $295M

Investec successfully closes 2nd Africa private equity fund at $295M

Investec Asset Management has successfully closed its sophomore fund, the Investec Africa Private Equity Fund 2 (IAPEF 2) at $295 million.

Doug Lacey, Partner, LeapFrog Investments

LeapFrog invests in Ghana's UT Life

LeapFrog Investments (“LeapFrog”), a specialist investor in emerging markets announced in January that LeapFrog has acquired a majority stake in UT Life Insurance Company Ltd (“UT Life”), one of the key players in the life insurance sector in Ghana.

The January marriage of radio presenter Tolu Oniru ‘Toolz’ and her pilot fiancé Tunde Demuren was said to among the most star-studded parties Lagos has yet seen. Photograph: Tolu Oniru. Credit: theguardian.com

'Go big or go home': Planning the perfect Lagos wedding

You can go to a wedding in Lagos every day between April and December – and you don’t even need to be invited, says Mo Dharrah Sage, editor of the Nigerian Wedding Blog.

Grosvenor Group makes commitment to invest in sub-Saharan Africa real estate.

Grosvenor Group partners with RMB Westport to make first investment in Sub-Saharan Africa

Grosvenor Group, the privately owned international property group, has made its first investment commitment to sub-Saharan Africa.

Oscar Onyema, CEO, Nigerian Stock Exchange

Nigerian Stock Exchange CEO Oscar Onyema appointed to second five-year term

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has approved the appointment of Oscar Onyema to a second five-year term as Chief Executive Officer of the Exchange effective immediately.

A man walks past an MTN notice board in Lagos, on October 27, 2015 (AFP Photo/Pius Utomi Ekpei)

Telecoms giant MTN pays $250M in Nigeria fine dispute

South African telecoms giant MTN said Wednesday it had paid $250 million to the Nigerian government in a dispute over a $3.9 billion fine imposed last year for failing to disconnect unregistered users.

South African digital insurance distributor Hepstar raises $2M from UK-based Amadeus Capital

South African digital insurance distributor Hepstar raises $2M from UK-based Amadeus Capital

Cape Town-based digital insurance distribution startup Hepstar announces $2 million funding round from UK-based global technology investor, Amadeus Capital Partners.

Mo Abudu, who abandoned a high-flying career in the corporate world to run a television studio. Photograph: SundayAlamba/AP

The Lagos power list: 21 people in 21 million

Lagos, a megacity home to an estimated 21 million people, is Nigeria’s cultural and political powerhouse.

Oscar Onyema, CEO, Nigerian Stock Exchange. Credit: naija247news.com

Nigerian Stock Exchange to expand range to lure investors, says CEO Oscar Onyema

The Nigerian Stock Exchange, Africa’s second-largest, is looking to attract investors spooked by a weakened currency and oil price by offering more products ahead of a possible listing.

iROKOtv hopes to chill Netflix Africa plans (Infographic)

When Netflix announced its launch in Africa earlier this year, many assumed the $30 billion streaming juggernaut would steamroller local competitors on its path to global domination.

Mitchell Elegbe, Founder & CEO, Interswitch

Nigerian fintech company Interswitch could become Africa's first startup to IPO at $1B+ valuation

Africa’s first billion-dollar tech IPO on a major exchange may be imminent.

Uber basks in phenomenal South Africa growth

Uber basks in phenomenal South Africa growth (Infographic)

On-demand driving service Uber has seen phenomenal growth since launching in South Africa in 2013.

Nigerian billionaire Abdulsamad Rabiu, Chairman, BUA Group. Credit: theheraldng.com

Nigerian billionaire Abdulsamad Rabiu in talks with China's Sinoma over $1.9B steel and cement deal

Nigerian billionaire Abdulsamad Rabiu’s conglomerate BUA Group is in talks with China’s Sinoma to build a steel plant in Nigeria and two cement plants in East Africa for $1.9 billion.

Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria

Africa: Firmly on the map

A number of new real estate fund platforms focused on Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) have emerged in recent years, giving credence to the continent’s ability to attract larger capital commitments from global investors.

The IVM G5 by Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing (IVM)

Nigeria's automotive industry shifts into high gear

In late 2013, the administration of then-President Goodluck Jonathan made a bold bet: that it could jumpstart the country’s ailing automotive industry through a comprehensive—and controversial— industrial policy, known as the National Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP).

Derrick Roper, CEO, Novare Equity Partners. Source: financialmail.co.za

Africa's emerging markets will come back into view: Derrick Roper, CEO, Novare Equity Partners

Private equity fund managers, who adopt longer term time horizons than traditional asset managers, are showing renewed interest in African investment opportunities.

Kayode Fayemi, Nigeria's Minister of Solid Minerals Development

Nigeria to revive $4.5B Ajaokuta steel mill in 2016, says Solid Minerals Minister Fayemi

Nigeria is aiming to hand over the $4.5 billion Ajaokuta steel complex to private operators this year as part of a plan to kick start its industrial and mining industries, Kayode Fayemi, the country’s minister of Solid Minerals Development, said.

Scene from Nigerian civil war movie "The Encounter"

Watch snippet of Nigerian civil war movie "The Encounter" (Video)

In 1967, the Eastern Region of Nigeria seceded from the country. The declaration of the independent Biafra, announced by the then Governor of Nigeria’s Eastern Region Lieutenant Colonel Emeka Ojukwu, was in response to the genocide of people from the Eastern Region.

Akinwumi Adesina, President, AfDB

Africa growth stays strong even as China slumps: Akinwumi Adesina, President, AfDB

Strong investment flows to Africa will sustain high economic growth on the continent even amid low oil prices and a slowdown in China, African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina said.

Andrea Nono, CEO, MTU South Africa (Rolls-Royce Power Systems)

Rolls-Royce Power Systems plans African expansion, says South Africa CEO Andrea Nono

Rolls-Royce Power Systems plans to replicate the 100 megawatt (MW) Mozambique gas-fired power station it is commissioning elsewhere in Africa as the company expands its footprint across the continent.

Orange Strikes $160M Deal for Tigo DRC

Orange Strikes $160M Deal for Tigo DRC

Orange is set to continue its acquisition spree in Africa with a $160 million takeover of Millicom’s Tigo-branded mobile phone business in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Nairobi is the most attractive city in Africa for foreign investment, says PwC.

Africa's big cities are investment bright spots, says private equity firms Abraaj and Actis

Like most emerging and frontier markets around the world, Africa’s largest economies have been affected by the drop in commodity prices over the past 18 months.

Elite, stylish and extravagant, the social scene at the annual Lagos polo tournament is as much of a show as the game on the pitch (AFP Photo/Pius Utomi Ekpei)

Fascinators and fizz in elite Lagos Polo Club

Elite, stylish and extravagant, the social scene at the annual Lagos polo tournament is as much of a show as the game on the pitch.

Mark Essien, Founder & CEO, Hotels.ng

Meet Mark Essien, Founder & CEO of Nigeria's Hotels.ng (Video)

Hotels.ng‘s CEO Mark Essien founded the Nigeria-based online hotel booking company in 2013, after completing Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Computer Science and Engineering in Germany.

Chibundu Onuzo: ‘I discovered I was black when I moved to Britain 10 years ago.’ Photograph: Geraint Lewis/REX/Shutterstock

Yes, I'm black. But an ethnic minority? Forget it: Chibundu Onuzo

I discovered I was black when I moved to Britain 10 years ago. Before that, I was happily Nigerian when it came to my nationality, happily Igbo and Yoruba when it came to my ethnicity, and happily Lagosian when it came to my urban affiliation.

Deepak Malik, Africa Regional Director, Norfund

Norway fund mulls West Africa expansion with Ghana investments

The Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries is considering investments in financial-services and clean-energy businesses in Ghana as the institution extends its scope to West Africa.

Jumia is AIG’s main subsidiary and operates in 11 African markets.

AXA buys 8% stake In Africa Internet Group for €75M ($85M) valuing company at over $1B

French insurance giant AXA announced today it is investing €75-million to take a 8% stake in Africa Internet Group (AIG), one of the continent’s largest e-commerce operations.

Mitchell Elegbe, Founder & CEO, Interswitch

Helios said to be working with Citigroup to sell Nigeria's Interswitch

Helios Investment Partners, an Africa-focused private equity firm, is preparing to sell Nigerian payments-processing group Interswitch Ltd. in a deal that could value the company at more than $1 billion, people with knowledge of the matter said.

MTN in another legal headache as Etisalat sues for use of frequency in Nigeria

MTN in another legal headache as Etisalat sues for use of frequency in Nigeria

Etisalat Nigeria has filed a court case against rival MTN over the use of a new frequency band which MTN acquired when it bought internet provider Visafone, it said on Monday.

Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (Muhammadu Sanusi II), Emir of Kano and former Governor of Nigeria's Central Bank

Nigeria's former Central Bank Governor Lamido Sanusi criticizes President Buhari's currency policy

Respected former head of Nigeria’s Central Bank Lamido Sanusi has said the government should end its policy of trying to maintain the value of the currency, the naira.

Sub-Saharan Africa's most and least resilient economies

Sub-Saharan Africa's most and least resilient economies (Infographics): Anna Rosenberg, Head, Sub-Saharan Africa Research, Frontier Strategy Group

While SSA was predicted to grow above 5% year-over-year in 2015 at the beginning of the year, actual GDP growth is more likely to come in at around 3–4% year-over-year.

Funke Opeke, CEO, MainOne Cable

Funke Opeke: Nigeria's cyber revolutionary

The only major road through Lekki is clogged, even on a Saturday afternoon. The expressway through the swampy peninsula that expands the city of Lagos in an easterly direction is riddled with street hawkers peddling red grapes, shoe racks and phone chargers to the cars caught in the hold up.

Edoh Kossi Amenounve, General Manager, Bourse Régionale des Valeurs Mobilières (BRVM)

West Africa's BRVM stock exchange boosts 2015 revenue by almost 50%, eyes new listings

The revenue of West Africa’s BRVM stock exchange rose about 48 percent last year, boosted by regional economic growth, the manager of the stock exchange told reporters on Thursday.

Two Rivers - Kenya

Check out these four mega mall developments soon to be launched in Africa (Photos & Videos)

It’s one of the clearest expressions of the growing middle class in many African countries — a burgeoning demand for shopping malls, each more lavish than the one before.

Annual African Private Equity Data Tracker: African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (AVCA)

Annual African Private Equity Data Tracker (Infographic & Report): African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (AVCA)

AVCA’s African Private Equity Data Tracker provides a summary of trends in private equity (“PE”) in Africa.

Jason Njoku, Founder & CEO, iROKOtv

Making money in Nollywood: Jason Njoku, Founder & CEO, iROKOtv (Audio)

Nigeria‘s film and television industry, affectionately known as “Nollywood“, is booming. Now foreign investors are getting interested in funding locally-made content.

Eric Holder, Partner, Covington & Burling & former US Attorney General

Africa's largest mobile operator MTN has hired former US Attorney General Eric Holder to take on the Nigerian government

The legal tussle between Nigerian regulators and MTN, Africa’s largest mobile operator has taken yet another turn.

South Africa's Travelstart raises $40M to extend reach in Africa's fast-growing multibillion dollar online travel market

South Africa's Travelstart raises $40M to extend reach in Africa's fast-growing multibillion dollar online travel market

Travelstart, the South African-based Online Travel Agency (OTA) with offices throughout Africa and subsidiaries in the Middle East and Turkey, on Wednesday announced a capital raise of $40 million from Amadeus Capital Partners, the global technology investor.

Newly-elected AU chairman, Chadian President Idriss Déby. Photograph: Xinhua/Barcroft Media

African Union members back Kenyan plan to leave International Criminal Court

Leaders at Addis Ababa summit support pullout of international criminal court in protest at perceived unfair targeting.