Paris-based Ame­this eyes Sh36bn to in­vest in Africa

Firms in 11 coun­tries, in­clud­ing Kenya, set to bene it from the money

Business Daily (Kenya) - - CORPORATE NEWS - Mugambi Mutegi pmutegi@ke.na­tion­media.com

Ame­this Fi­nance, a Paris-based com­pany fo­cused on in­vest­ing in debt and eq­uity in Africa, is seek­ing to raise Sh36 bil­lion for in­vest­ment in 11 coun­tries in­clud­ing Kenya.

Ame­this Fund II is a 10-year closed-end gen­er­al­ist pri­vate eq­uity fund tar­get­ing mid-mar­ket com­pa­nies in fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions, fast-mov­ing con­sumer goods, health­care, agribusi­ness, FUND­ING Ramco Group board mem­ber Ha­sit Pa­tel (left) dur­ing a past func­tion in Nairobi. Ame­this Fi­nance owns 30 per cent of the irm

ed­u­ca­tion, IT and telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions.

The In­ter­na­tional Fi­nance Cor­po­ra­tion (IFC), the World Bank’s pri­vate lend­ing arm, is

propos­ing to in­ject Sh1.8 bil­lion in eq­uity in­vest­ment into the fund, its dis­clo­sures in­di­cate.

Ame­this has in the past years in­vested in Chase Bank,

Ramco Group and Ke­nafric In­dus­tries.

“The fund has a to­tal com­mit­ted cap­i­tal tar­get size of €300 mil­lion, of which IFC’S pro­posed in­vest­ment is up to €15 mil­lion in eq­uity, not to ex­ceed 20 per cent of to­tal com­mit­ted cap­i­tal,” IFC notes.

“The growth of the fund’s port­fo­lio com­pa­nies is ex­pected to re­sult in strong job cre­ation. The fund will in­vest in com­pa­nies that fo­cus on the lower-in­come emerg­ing con­sumers.”

Other than Kenya, the IFCbacked fund will in­vest in Côte d’ivoire, Nige­ria, Cameroon, Ghana, Zam­bia, Tan­za­nia, Mozam­bique, Ethiopia, Morocco and Mau­ri­tius.

Ame­this in 2013 in­jected Sh1 bil­lion ($10.5 mil­lion) into Chase Bank, as the lender — which is now in re­ceiver­ship — sought to use a mix of debt and eq­uity to pro­pel it to tier one sta­tus and ex­pand re­gion­ally.

A year later, the pri­vate eq­uity fund took a 30-per cent stake in a sub­sidiary of Ramco Group for an undis­closed amount of money.

Ame­this ac­quired the stake in Ramco Plexus, which is made up of nine com­pa­nies with in­ter­ests in in­dus­tries such as print and pack­ag­ing, hard­ware, sta­tionery and of­fice sup­plies and ICT con­sult­ing.

Ramco Group, a fam­ily-owned busi­ness with an­nual turnover of more than Sh23 bil­lion, is head­quar­tered in Nairobi and has a pres­ence in Uganda, Tan­za­nia and Rwanda.

SALATON NJAU

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