, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 3 – Actis, a leading private equity investor in the emerging markets, has been named African Private Equity Firm of the Year for the fourth year in a row by Private Equity International (PEI) magazine.
The award is given to the best private equity firm operating in the region as voted for by investors, advisors, investee companies and other stakeholders.
In 2010, Actis’s pan-African payments processing platform EMPH invested in Egyptian company MSCC; and Actis made an US$151 million investment in the Vlisco Group, a producer of designer wax fashion fabrics for the West African market.
Actis’s current Africa private equity portfolio spans a variety of sectors and geographies, including Business Services through Seven Energy of Nigeria, Consumer via Mouka (Nigeria) and Vlisco Group (West Africa).
Its other investments are in the financial services sector in Alexander Forbes, Banque Commerciale du Rwanda (Rwanda), CIB (Egypt), DFCU (Uganda), Diamond Bank (Nigeria) and MSCC (Egypt).
In the Industrials, the portfolio includes Actom (South Africa), Peters Papers (South Africa), Poulina (Tunisia), Savcio (South Africa) and Sinai Marble (Egypt).
Speaking in Johannesburg, Peter Schmid, Actis’s Head of Africa, said: “To receive this award for the fourth consecutive year is an immense honour for the whole Africa team. Africa plays a crucial role in Actis’s emerging market story, and the fact that our work has been publicly recognised by investors, advisors and portfolio company management teams is deeply humbling.”
“Actis’s pan-emerging market footprint and sector model, together with the extensive experience of our local teams on the ground, create a unique and very powerful value proposition,” he added.
Actis enjoyed a year of intense activity during 2010, and Africa continues to be a core part of its success story with close to US$1.5 billion invested in 18 African countries. Actis has 25 investment professionals working in Africa, with offices in Cairo, Johannesburg, Lagos and Nairobi.
Actis also invests across African Real Estate – current investments include, Accra Mall (Ghana), Capital Properties (Tanzania), Ikeja City Mall (Nigeria), IOREC (Mauritius), Nairobi Business Park (Kenya) and One Airport Square (Ghana); and Infrastructure – current investments include, Azito (Côte d’Ivoire), Songas (Tanzania), Tsavo (Kenya) and Umeme (Uganda).
Actis has also been awarded Latin American Private Equity Firm of the Year 2010 by PEI, reflecting the three deals it executed in Brazil last year.