Carlyle pumps $100m into CMC

The deal takes the firm’s Sub-Saharan Africa fund to more than 50% invested.

The Carlyle Group has acquired CMC Networks in a deal worth more than $100 million, PEI can reveal.

CMC is a pan-African connectivity provider for global telecoms companies. Headquartered in Johannesburg, CMC has a network and office footprint spanning 50 African countries, as well as a Middle Eastern network.

Carlyle announced the deal – a buyout from Investec Private Equity – in November last year without disclosing financial details.

At that time the acquisition was the seventh investment from Carlyle’s Sub-Saharan Africa Fund, which closed significantly above its $500 million target on $698 million in April 2014. Since then the firm has agreed to acquire around half of GCR, Africa’s largest credit rating agency, from the management founders and German development finance institution DEG.

Carlyle’s Sub-Saharan Africa Fund, which is now more than $350 million invested, is led by managing director Eric Kump, who took over as co-head of the team last year following the departure of Marlon Chigwende.

Chigwende has since teamed up with KKR’s former regional head for Africa Kayode Akinola to launch Arkana Partners, which will focus on mid-cap opportunities on the continent, as reported by Reuters.

The demand for high-quality bandwidth is growing at around 30 percent per year, according to CMC’s chief executive officer Grant Walker. “CMC has cultivated a blue-chip customer base driving international traffic into Africa but is also presently experiencing a growing amount of traffic leaving Africa from African customers. This investment by Carlyle will accelerate CMC’s growth through greater investments into new partnerships and acquisitions,” he said.