Jacana teams with Soros to back cargo handler

The investment in DSM Corridor Group is the pan-African PE firm's first in Tanzania.

Jacana Partners, the Africa-focused private equity firm, has teamed up with the Soros Economic Development Fund to invest in DSM Corridor Group (DCG), a bulk cargo handling business in the port of Dar es Salaam. It's the first time either organisation has invested in Tanzania.

Further financial details of the transaction were not disclosed, although the two groups are each investing equal amounts. 

Founded in 2004, DCG operates sub-Saharan Africa's only purpose-built terminal for dry bulk cargo handling. It has benefited from Dar es Salaam's position as a key access point not only to Tanzania, but also to landlocked African markets like Zambia and Uganda. 

The investment is intended to finance the expansion of the company's storage capacity, in terms of both the volume and range of commodities it can handle.

Significantly, from Jacana's point of view, it should also create up to 70 new jobs in the first nine months, and potentially double that in the subsequent two years. DCG already provides an unusually high level of welfare for the area, including contracts, safety gear and medical cover. Jacana also hopes the deal will indirectly help to bolster the local development of the agribusiness, mining and construction sectors.

Jacana Partners is a pan-African private equity firm that aims to use SME growth to achieve financial and social returns. It said that it has now committed $28 million to its portfolio of 26 SMEs, across six East African markets.