Actis backs African bank

The emerging markets specialist has taken an 80 percent stake in Banque Commerciale du Rwanda in a transaction valued at $6m.

Actis, the London-headquartered emerging markets investor, has completed the first privatisation of a financial institution in Rwanda, Africa.

The firm, formerly part of CDC Capital Partners, took an 80 percent stake in Banque Commerciale du Rwanda (BCR) in a transaction that values the bank at just over $6 million (€4.9 million).

The investment was made from the Actis Africa Fund, which is aiming to invest $350 million in Africa over the next three years. Currently, the firm has in excess of $1 billion of funds under management in Africa.

BCR is the second largest commercial bank in Rwanda. The government of Rwanda retains a minority stake in the bank.

Commenting on the transaction, Actis’ first in the country, managing partner for Africa Nkosana Moyo said: “Through this investment we can make a significant contribution to the growth and development of the financial sector in Rwanda.”

Actis has previously invested in banks in a number of other African countries. Last year it sold its stake in Ghanaian SSB Bank to Société Générale. 14 percent of Actis’ global portfolio is invested in financial institutions.

Last month Actis announced the appointment of Alistair Mackintosh as its new chief investment officer in London, who joined from PPM Ventures, the private equity arm of UK insurer Prudential, bringing Actis' total number of managing partners to 12.

In May, the firm was selected from a shortlist of 22 fund managers to co-manage the C$200 million (€122 million; $145 million) Canada Investment Fund for Africa (CIFA) along with Montreal-headquartered IFPT Management.

In January this year, Actis spun out of CDC Capital Partners, the UK state-owned risk capital investor, as a limited liability partnership. The firm manages over $2.5 billion (€2.1 billion) in assets in emerging markets and plans to raise up to $500 million of additional capital from third party institutions over the coming years.