Atta Africa Financial Update

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

Executive summary: Why is Barclays pulling out of Africa; who will buy it?

Barclays has had a presence in Africa since 1925 and currently owns around 62% of Barclays Africa Group, the HoldCo that controls banks in 10 African countries including Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Egypt and Zimbabwe are held differently but are equally part of the sale.

Rumours had been circulating for some time, but the suspension of a company wide re-branding exercise was an indication of things to come. An important consideration is the new Jes Staley himself (chief executive since late October) and seeming under pressure to make bold moves and turn things around quickly.

The focus now is going to be on who will buy Barclays' controlling stake - potential investors would need to raise nearly US$4bn according to a number of sources - already there is talk of the Public Investment Corporation, South Africa's largest pension fund, being interested.

Fact: Mozambique native, Graca Machel, is the only woman to have ever been first lady of two different countries - Mozambique and South Africa

French firm Carrefour seeks to lock out other retailers at Two Rivers

  • French retailer Carrefour is seeking the competition watchdog’s nod to be the sole retail operator at Two Rivers Mall, in an application that if approved could lock out other Kenyan supermarket chains
  • The retailer, jointly with the mall owners, have submitted to the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) an application for exclusive occupancy over a lease period of seven years
  • The Two Rivers Mall in Ruaka, Nairobi County, is backed by listed investment firm Centum - it is billed as the biggest mall in the country, overtaking Garden City upon completion

Amadeus Capital backs Hepstar

  • Amadeus Capital made a US$2 million investment in Hepstar, a Cape Town-headquartered IT start-up
  • The company is trying to change the insurance market by making insurance products more freely available online through seamless e-commerce solutions