Moody’s to acquire control stake in Carlyle-backed GCR

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Moody’s, the global risk assessment firm, has agreed to buy a majority stake in Global Credit Ratings, Africa’s largest credit rating agency, which The Carlyle Group backed in late 2016 via the alternative investments giant’s $698 million Sub-Saharan Africa Fund. Moody’s is buying a 51% stake in the business in an all-cash deal, the terms of which have not yet been disclosed. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the second quarter this year once the relevant regulatory authorities have given their approval.

The news suggests that Carlyle’s fund will be able to exit at least part or perhaps all of its 49.9% holding in the company. As part of the 2016 investment, Eric Kump, who heads Carlyle’s Sub-Saharan African Fund, and his colleague Bruce Steen took seats on GCR’s board of directors. Today the company operates in 27 countries in Africa, several of which, including South Africa, Nigeria, Senegal, Kenya, and Mauritius, have officially licensed the business as a ratings agency.

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