One of the world’s leading growth market investors, Actis, has successfully exited Compuscan — selling the business to credit reporting giant Experian for $263 million (pending review and approval from South African regulatory officials). Partners Ali Mazanderani and David Cooke led the deal for Actis, assisted by Ngetha Waithaka, a director, and associate Emily Morse. Returns were not made available.
Actis has years of experience “inherited from our 70-year legacy as part of the UK Government’s development arm, CDC Group.” Their successful knowledge-sharing approach “helps deliver consistent, competitive returns responsibly” through unmatched local insight married to a “global sector approach.” Combining the two helps the Actis mitigate risks in establishing markets while growing local brands to national (and international) prominence.
Actis identified Compuscan as a strong investment opportunity in 2014. It was the flagship acquisition for Actis’ buy-and-build credit services arm, Credit Services Holding, which was founded to “promote access to credit” in sub-Saharan Africa. Compuscan began life as a credit bureau offering micro-loans, “[enabling] micro lenders to avoid financial loss by identifying clients’ repayment probability before issuing a loan.” It merged with ScoreSharp in 2011 and was the largest independent credit in bureau in Africa at the time of its acquistion, offering “credit data and analytical services to customers including banks, insurance companies, retailers and telecom operators across several African countries including South Africa, Namibia, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Botswana and Uganda.”
Mazanderani called the four years since the initial acquisition “a wonderful journey” for “an exceptional team.” “We are extremely proud of what has been achieved together,” said Mazanderani. Cooke heralded Compuscan while emphasizing Actis’ track record on the continent. “Compuscan and ScoreSharp are great businesses,” said Cooke. “This successful investment further reinforces our unrivalled track record in identifying high growth African businesses, adding value and successfully exiting to quality buyers. Actis has now committed over $4.5 billion to Africa and delivered over 33 exits.”