Weekly Wrap, November 1st, 2021; CDG holds $105mln first close, EXEO backs artisanal cheese firm, ARCH EM’s cold chain fund in line for AfDB commitment, and more..

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Last week in brief…November 1st, 2021

We led our latest coverage with news of the first close for a fund sponsored by Morocco’s CDG Invest Growth, (the former CDG Capital Private Equity). Capmezzanine III has won $105 million in commitments from a range of institutional investors in Morocco, 90% of whom had backed the private equity firm’s earlier funds.

The fund, which is targeting an IRR of 25%, has already raised more than double the amount of capital raised by its predecessor. It will pursue a generalist strategy, investing an average of $10 million in each transaction favoring sectors offering the most promise on the continent such as healthcare, education, new technologies, and consumer goods sectors.

Staying in North Africa, Cairo-based Ezdehar Management is on the brink of landing an investment of $25 million from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development for the private equity firm’s second fund. The news follows the prior week’s announcement that International Finance Corporation is mulling a $20 million commitment to the fund, which is aiming to raise $150 million by its final close.

Ezdehar Egypt Midcap Fund II will follow a similar investment strategy to its predecessor, backing small and medium-sized businesses in Egypt and helping their management teams to scale their businesses. Deal sizes will range from $5 million to as much as $30 million for each transaction.

In other fund news, ARCH Emerging Markets Partners has added another LP to the London-based firm’s Cold Chain Solutions East African Fund. African Development Bank has approved a $10 million commitment to the fund, which is aiming to raise $100 million by the time it holds its final close towards the end of the first quarter next year.

The fund’s strategy is to develop as many as eight cold chain operations in partnership with conglomerates, making equity or quasi-equity investments o build a portfolio of greenfield assets critical to the operation of temperature-controlled supply chains.

Nurture Foods, EXEO Capital‘s new food sector vehicle, has made its first investment. The platform acquired a significant minority stake in The Fairview Cheese Company, a well-established artisanal cheese business based in Paarl, South Africa. How much is being invested by AgriVie Fund II-backed Nurture Foods is not being disclosed, but EXEO partners Riel Malan and Izak Strauss are joining the company’s board.

Pembani Remgro Investment Management has teamed up with Digital Realty, an NYSE-listed provider of global cloud- and carrier-neutral data center solutions, to buy Medallion Data Centres, a Nigerian colocation and interconnection firm. The joint venture will be part of Pembani’s Infrastructure fund portfolio.

How much the joint venture is paying for the business had not been disclosed. Medallion operates data centers in Lagos, the continent’s most populous urban metropolitan area with 15 million people, and in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital. The Lagos facility is a major connectivity hub for West Africa, providing services to more than 70 carriers and ISPs and responsible for over 80% of the public traffic on the Nigerian Internet Exchange.

Africa REN Energy, a new clean energy investment platform company set up Metier, FMO, and Africa REN, an IPP with operations in West Africa, has also announced its first deal. The platform has backed the Kodeni Solar Power Plant, which has now entered its construction phase near Bobo-Dioulasso, in Burkina Faso. In total, the Kodeni Solar Power plant raised €42.5 million to reach financial close, €34 million of which was provided as debt.

Pearl Capital Partners has announced an investment of equity and debt in Sekajja Agro Farms, a poultry business based in Kampala. The €12 million Yield Uganda Investment Fund is investing $1.8 million in the business, adding an eleventh asset to its portfolio. Sekajja will use the capital from the investment for its expansion plans which include scaling up its poultry production facilities and building a new feed mill.

After backing Autochek‘s pre-seed round almost 12 months ago, TLcom Capital and 4DX Ventures are leading an investor group investing $13.1 million in the automotive technology startup’s seed. The company will use the capital to support the expansion of its operations in West Africa and underpin its core loan processing platform. The business has developed technology that leverages data analytics to provide auto finance to clients across the continent.

DLA Piper Africa has a new board member. Naana Frimpong, who is a recent recruit to the global law firm, joins representatives from law firms affiliated with DLA Piper in 20 Africa countries. In her board position, she will work with her fellow members to provide strategic oversight of DLA Piper Africa’s development, help monitor and support the performance of its member firms, and make funding and other decisions balancing the needs of Member firms, their clients, and the communities in which they operate.

That’s it for this week. As always, you can review these and other stories by clicking through to this week’s preview edition of the newsletter.

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