Word is getting out about Africa’s immense promise for investors. The continent is ripe with creative entrepreneurs and innovative businesses, creating more great investment opportunities than ever. Private equity contributions have sustained an upwards trajectory for some time now, and 2018 saw both significant investments and successful exits. Here are some of the most notable, according to Africa Capital Digest:

Helios Investment Partners/Vivo Energy

Vivo Energy, who are “the company behind the Shell brand in Africa,” was valued at $2.7 billion in their 2018 IPO. London-based Helios, who acquired a 44% stake in 2011, subsequently sold down their shares to 30% for a $375 million partial exit.

PIC and Pelo Agricultural Ventures/Karan Beef

Public Investment Corporation, the South Africa-based investment manager responsible for over 2.083 trillion rand (over $150 billion) in assets, spent $365 million to obtain a majority stake in Karan Beef. The South African beef producer is the largest in the company.


Actis, one of the world’s leading growth markets investors, successfully exited Compuscan, selling the business to credit reporting giant Experian for $263 million. Actis identified Compuscan as a strong investment opportunity in 2014, making it the flagship acquisition for Actis’ buy-and-build credit services arm, Credit Services Holding. Compuscan is part of the prominent African growth sector of microlenders, leveraging technology to calculate repayment probabilities to potential borrowers before issuing loans.

CDC Group/Liquid Telecom

UK development finance institution CDC Group made a $180 million equity investment in Liquid Telecom. CDC acquired a 10 percent stake in “Africa’s largest independent fiber and cloud provider” in the deal, their largest investment in three years.

Wendel/Saham Finances

French investor Wendel Group earned $155 million after exiting their stake in Morocco’s Saham Group. The deal came after Saham sold their insurance arm to South Africa’s Sanlam – the nation’s largest insurance provider.

DPI/Compagnie Marocaine de Goutte à goutte et de Pompage

Private equity fund manager Development Partners International (DPI) used $100 million from its $725 million African Development Partners II fund to purchase a majority stake in Compagnie Marocaine de Goutte à goutte et de Pompage (CMGP), a Moroccan irrigation company, from its existing stakeholders. It was the country’s largest private equity transaction of 2018.


Global investment firm KKR fully exited from Ethiopian rose grower Afriflora after an initial $200 million investment in 2014. The sale amount was undisclosed.

LeapFrog Investments/BIMA

LeapFrog Investments sold a large stake in BIMA to digital investor Allianz X for $96.6 million. BIMA is one of many businesses successfully using mobile to further financial inclusion in emerging markets, a favorite of technology investors in Africa.

2018 saw investors reap the benefits of the significant investment opportunities across Africa. That trend seems likely to continue in 2019 – and beyond.