AIIM inks secondary PE deal in Burkina Faso

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African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM) has struck its sixth deal of the year by signing a secondary private equity transaction in Burkina Faso that provides an exit to another PE firm.

AIIM has picked up a 22% stake in Sodigaz, a leading gas bottle distributor in the West African country, from Amethis.
Khady Koné-Dicoh, partner at Amethis, who led the investment and exit in Sodigaz, said the company experienced a substantial transformation since the initial investment. Amethis had invested in Sodigaz four years ago.

“We are proud of this successful investment in Burkina Faso and honored to have contributed to the fight against deforestation in this Sahelian country and to a positive model for the promotion of gender parity in Africa with a company committed to strengthening women’s leadership and economic empowerment at the highest level of its management,” she said.

Amethis supported Sodigaz in strengthening its governance, regional expansion, products diversification and ESG policy implementation.

It had bought the minority stake in the company, which is led by Lala Bolly, in September 2017 via Amethis West Africa, its investment vehicle dedicated to West Africa. Bolly, whose father had started Sodigaz, has been leading the firm since 2014.

Since its creation over four decades ago, Sodigaz has succeeded in building a market share of over 60%, facing major international oil and gas companies, due to its network of nearly 2,000 exclusive resellers.

For Amethis, this translates into its second exit in as many weeks. Last week, it exited Fidelity Bank Ghana Ltd in a transaction where emerging markets-focussed private investment firm LeapFrog picked up a 16.94% stake in the African nation’s largest privately owned bank.

Amethis and ERES had invested $35 million alongside Kagiso Tiso Holdings of South Africa in the bank in 2014. This was part of a $70 million fundraise at the time to strengthen the bank’s capital base and fuel its expansion plans. This was Amethis’ third investment in the Sub-Saharan Africa’s banking sector and the second in Ghana. It was the first investment of ERES in the African continent.

Meanwhile, the Sodigaz deal adds to an already packed year of investments for AIIM.

In June, AIIM hiked its stake in Metrofiber and finalised a deal to invest in telecom infra firm EastCastle. In the previous month, private investment house Reatile and the IDEAS fund managed by AIIM inked a $365 million deal to pick up a 30% stake in a gas pipeline in Mozambique.

Earlier this year, AIIM topped up its investment in Bboxx Kenya and struck a control deal for a Ghana data centre.

Source: Capital Quest

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