Emerging Capital seals 2.6x telecom exit

The Africa-focused firm has generated an $80m return from MTN Côte d’Ivoire.   

Emerging Capital Partners has sold mobile network operator MTN Côte d’Ivoire to Planor Capital International, generating a 2.6x return multiple, according to a statement.

The sale price was not disclosed, but ECP generated a return of more than $80 million, the statement said. A subsidiary of South Africa-based MTN, MTNCI provides fixed line, mobile and internet services. ECP first invested in the company in 2007.

“The success shown by MTNCI over the holding period…demonstrates the growth and resiliency of the [mobile telecommunications] sector”, Brice Lodugnon, a director in ECP’s Abidjan office, said in the statement. “This is particularly true given the global financial crisis and the Ivorian political conflict, which both occurred during the investment holding period.”

The transaction marks ECP’s 28th exit. The firm has completed several other African mobile telecom sales, including Celtel International and Orascom Telecom Algeria. Current investments in the sector include Cellcom, a mobile operator in Guinea and Liberia.

ECP has raised more than $2 billion through seven funds. The firm makes investments in the financial services, natural resources, retail and consumer, agriculture and infrastructure sectors in more than 40 African countries.

ECP was established in 2000 by five founding partners, including managing directors Hurley Doddy, who previously worked at Sumitomo Finance International, Vincent Le Guennou, a former member of the Saur Group’s international department, and Carolyn Campbell, former White & Case executive.