The value of private equity deals made in East Africa more than doubled in 2015 driven by activity in the financial services sector, a report by Burbidge Capital showed.
According to Business Daily, the report showed that region inked 40 deals worth $1.44 billion last year, up 112 percent from 35 deals in 2014 that were worth $678 million.
“The average PE deal size was $46.5 million up from $34.4 million in 2014, representing a 35.3 percent rise,” Edward Burbidge, chief executive at Burbidge Capital, said.
Burbidge added that he expected the growth to continue into 2016 and low prices on some listed stocks will present a buying opportunity for investors.
“This year a lot will depend on the macro picture, which is a little confused at present nut we expect the region to continue to be extremely attractive for investment,” he said.
East Africa lead other sub-Saharan Africa regions in value of deals. Another report by Private Equity International showed that PE funds in Africa raised a record $3.89 billion in 2015, a 51 percent jump from $2.57 billion accumulated in 2014.
Among the top deal in East Africa include London-based Helios sale of its stake in Equity Bank — the region’s largest bank by customers — to a host of investors.
This is a culmination of a success story that has characterized Africa’s fundraising scene, from funds targeting the continent to startups — mostly in tech and financial services, as global investor discover the allure of the region’s business opportunities.
Encouraged by political stability in a number of African countries led by a revolutionary win by an opposition presidential candidate in Nigeria, the continent’s largest economy, investors poured in capital into funds that operate on the continent.
Traditionally, Africa’s abundance of natural resources, including mining and exploration, has been the driving force behind investment interest. But growing demand for telecommunications, infrastructure, consumer goods and financial services, has widened the range of opportunities for potential investors even further.
According to AVCA’s recent study, about 249 private equity exits took place in Africa between 2007 and 2014.
“While South Africa continues to lead on exits, in the past few years there has been an increase in activity in other regions, such as east and southern Africa,” said Carolyn Campbell, managing director and founding partner at Emerging Capital Partners.