Thursday June 19 2014

Actis sells extra 6.7% of Umeme

By Dorothy Nakaweesi


Actis, the pan-emerging markets private equity firm, has through its subsidiary, Umeme Holdings Ltd (“UHL”), successfully concluded the sale of its 45.7 per cent holding of Ugandan electricity distribution company, Umeme Ltd (Umeme) for $98m (about Shs252.8 billion).

The sale of shares totalling 6.7 per cent of the company and worth $13m (about Shs33.5 billion) to Ugandan retail investors and Umeme management and directors was the final step in the transaction.

This transaction, carried out on Monday June 16, was led by Stanbic as Lead Transaction Adviser and Stanbic and Rencap as Joint Bookrunners.
In communique, Mr David Grylls, a Partner at Actis, said: “We have been delighted by the strong take-up of Umeme shares, first by heavyweight institutional investors, and now by retail investors and Umeme management and directors”.

‘Business appetite’
He added: “Not only is this indicative of a healthy appetite for solid Ugandan companies, but also a commitment to Uganda’s powerful macroeconomic story, and can only be good for Uganda’s capital markets.”
The lead transaction adviser at Stanbic Bank, Mr Patrick Mweheire said: The accelerated book build for Actis’ sale of a stake in Umeme was highly successful and the first of its kind.”

Mr Mweheire added that this transaction signalled significant appetite from both institutional African investors and international investors who are keen to tap into the opportunity in these increasingly sophisticated and liquid markets.

“This was evident in the strong demand seen across all investor classes (including retail and management) for the transaction,” Mr Mweheire noted.

Last month, Actis sold a substantial stake of Ugandan electricity distributor, Umeme Ltd, for $85.5 million. Actis’ Ugandan subsidiary, Umeme Holdings, had said that it was selling 45.1 per cent out of the 60.08 per cent stake it owned in the utility. Actis said in its statement that it planned to hold its remaining minority stake in Umeme for at least two years