Commercial News from Africa

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

African consumer spending is estimated to be US$1.4 trillion by 2020 - almost doubling from US$860 billion in 2008 - and the working age populating to more than double to 1.1 billion by 2040.

KKR buys rose farm in first Africa deal. Afriflora is an Ethiopian company that grows hundreds of millions of flowers a year for export to Europe, making it a significant player in the east African country's blossoming cut flower export industry. KKR is investing about US$200 million from its US$6.2 billion European fund to buy a stake in the company. This deal comes as private-equity firms, seeking opportunities outside the crowded markets of North America and Europe, show interest in Africa.   East African production of roses is expanding to meet demand for lower-cost flowers in large supermarkets in Europe. Ethiopia's rose exports to the European Union more than doubled to €131 million (US$178m) in 2012 from €62 million (US$84m) in 2008, according to the International Association of Horticultural Producers.

Kenya to build Textile City. Kenya plans to build a Textile City in Athi River, targeting investment from companies to exploit opportunities in yarn spinning and cotton ginning, the production of home and textile fabric. It is part of the country's larger plan to increase industrialisation and it hopes to create over 200,000 sustainable jobs from the textile industry by the end of 2016.

Zambia extends network. Zambia secured a US$163m loan from Sweden's Nordea Bank to extend the electricity network to its western and north-western regions. The Loan will fund the construction of 840km of high voltage transmission power lines. The North Western Province is home to Kansanshi and Lumwana copper mines, which account for over half Zambia's total copper output.

United Nations lifts Ivory Coast diamond export embargo. The UN Security Council has removed a ban on the Ivory Coast's diamond trade and eased an arms embargo. The EU estimates that the Ivory Coast lags behind the world's top diamond producers, extracting a minimum of 50,000 carats a year. The industry employs at least 200,000 Ivorians.