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Sub Saharan Africa Mergers and Acquisition Transactions Totalled US$16 Billion in the First Nine Months of 2020

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Mergers and Acquisition Transactions Stood at US$16 billion in the First Nine Months of 2020 in Sub Saharan Africa

Refinitiv today released the investment banking analysis for the Sub-Saharan African for the first nine months of 2020. According to the report, investment banking fees in Sub-Saharan Africa reached an estimated US$40.9 million during the third quarter of 2020, less than half the value recorded during the second quarter of 2020 and the lowest quarterly total since Q1 2005. Around US$264.6 million worth of fees were earned in the region during the first nine months of 2020, down 38% from last year and a seven-year low with fee declines recorded across M&A advisory, debt capital markets underwriting, and syndicated lending.

Advisory fees earned from completed M&A transactions generated US$51.4 million, down 71% year-on-year to the lowest first nine-month level since 2003. Debt capital markets underwriting fees declined 19% to US$46.6 million, marking the lowest first nine-month total for bond fees in the region since 2016, while syndicated lending fees fell 35% to a six-year low of US$105.2 million. Equity capital markets underwriting fees totalled US$61.4 million, more than double the value recorded during the same period in 2019.

Government & Agency fees accounted for 22% of total investment banking fees earned in the region so far during 2020, up from 12% during the same period last year. South Africa generated the most fees in the region, a total of US$160.2 million accounting for 61%, followed by Nigeria with 12%.

Standard Chartered earned the most investment banking fees in the region during the first nine months of 2020, a total of US$23.4 million, or an 8.8% share of the total fee pool.

MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS

The value of announced M&A transactions with any Sub-Saharan African involvement reached US$16.0 billion during the first nine months of 2020, 74% less than the value recorded during the same period last year when Naspers’ US$35.9 billion internet assets spin-off boosted merger activity to an all-time high. The value of deals recorded so far this year is the lowest year-to-date total since 2004. The number of deals declined 11% over the same period to a seven-year low. The value of deals with a Sub-Saharan African target declined 58% to a seventeen-year low of US$7.9 billion, as domestic M&A within the region declined 69% from last year and the combined value of inbound deals reached just US$5.2 billion, the lowest first nine-month level in five years. The largest deal involving a Sub-Saharan African target was announced at the start of September – US pharmaceuticals firm Mylan agreed to buy the thrombosis business from South African drugmaker Aspen Pharmacare for US$758.5 million. Deals in the energy and power sector accounted for 26% of Sub-Saharan African target M&A activity during the first nine months of 2020, followed by materials (23%) and financials (14%). South Africa was the most targeted nation, followed by Uganda and Senegal.

Outbound M&A reached a four-year high of US$4.6 billion during the first nine months of 2020, 80% more than the value recorded during the same period in 2019, despite an 11% decline in the number of deals. The value was boosted by Angolan state-owned Sonangol’s purchase of PT Ventures from Africatel Holdings for US$1 billion and Templar Investments’ US$1 billion offer for Jindal Steel’s Oman unit.

With advisory work on eleven deals worth a combined U$1.7 billion, JP Morgan holds to the top spot in the financial advisor ranking for deals with any Sub-Saharan African involvement during the first nine months of 2020.

EQUITY CAPITAL MARKETS

Sub-Saharan African equity and equity-related issuance reached US$2.0 billion during the first nine months of 2020, 25% more than the value recorded during the same period last year, but lower than every other first nine-month total since 2013. The number of deals recorded declined by 10% to the lowest year-to-date tally since 2012. One initial public offering has been recorded so far this year, compared to three at this time last year. Malawian telecoms company, Airtel Malawi, raised US$28.7 million on the Malawi Stock Exchange in February.

JP Morgan took first place in the Sub-Saharan African ECM underwriting league table during the first nine months of 2020.

DEBT CAPITAL MARKETS

The African Development Bank raised $3 billion in a “Fight Covid-19” social bond at the end of March to help alleviate the economic and social impact the Coronavirus pandemic will have on livelihoods and economies in the region. With this deal, and Ghana’s US$3 billion Eurobond in February, Sub-Saharan African debt issuance totalled US$8.9 billion during the first quarter of 2020, the second-highest first quarter DCM total in the region of all-time.

Only US$1.9 billion was raised during the second quarter, the lowest quarterly total in eight years, followed by US$4.0 billion during the third quarter. The total proceeds raised during the first nine months of 2020 is US$14.7 billion, down 26% from last year and a five-year low. BofA Securities took the top spot in the Sub-Saharan African bond underwriter ranking during the first nine months of 2020 with US$2.2 billion of related proceeds, or a 15% market share.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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The Time is Now for Global ESG Regulation: deVere CEO

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Nigel Green - Investors King

A global regulatory framework for environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing is now urgently required, affirms the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory and fintech organisations.

The ‘call to action’ from Nigel Green, the chief executive and founder of deVere Group, comes as major financial institutions are handling a massive uptick of inflows into the sector but at the same time facing accusations of inconsistency in their approach to sustainable impactful investments.

Mr Green says: “Environmental, social and governance investing is this decade’s ultimate investment megatrend – and it has been accelerated since the pandemic began.

“There’s been a dramatic increase of inflows into the sector from both retail and institutional investors as it has become clearer than ever that human health is reliant upon healthy ecosystems; that we need to ensure the sustainability of supply chains; and that those companies with robust corporate governance and good business practice fare better in difficult times and are ultimately best-positioned for the future.”

He continues: “The trend is unlikely to slow down in a post-pandemic world. Millennials, who are statistically more likely to seek responsible investment options, are set to become the major beneficiaries of the largest inter-generational transfer of wealth – an estimated $30trillion over the next few years.

“In addition, recent research reveals that the majority of environmental, social and governance investments have outperformed their non-sustainable counterparts over the last year and have had lower volatility.

“This will only serve to attract more investors.”

Given the continuing and increasing demand, Mr Green says that the regulatory landscape must reflect the situation.

“Regulators need to catch-up.  Initiatives that began in the EU are now spreading worldwide, but much more needs to be done, at a faster pace and with a joined-up approach. There remains a startling lack of consistency in definitions and data.

“Considering the momentum of the sector, the time is now for the establishment of a global regulatory framework for ESG investing.”

This, he says, will provide greater protections for those investors who are looking for profits with purpose. It will also help to reduce ‘greenwashing’, which is where an investment or company gives an inaccurate impression over its green, socially responsible or corporate credentials.

The deVere CEO concludes: “A robust standardised regulatory framework would make the sector even more attractive, which will then help investors reach their financial goals whilst proactively protecting people and the planet.”

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BMW and Ford Invest in Solid Power to Secure All Solid-State Batteries for Future Electric Vehicles

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 Solid Power, an industry-leading producer of all solid-state batteries for electric vehicles, yesterday announced a $130 million Series B investment round led by the BMW Group, Ford Motor Company and Volta Energy Technologies.

Ford and the BMW Group have also expanded existing joint development agreements with Solid Power to secure all solid-state batteries for future electric vehicles.

The investment positions Solid Power to produce full-scale automotive batteries, increase associated material output and expand in-house production capabilities for future vehicle integration. The BMW Group and Ford aim to utilize Solid Power’s low-cost, high-energy all solid-state battery technology in forthcoming electric vehicles.

“BMW and Ford now share leading positions in the race for all solid-state battery-powered electric vehicles,” said Doug Campbell, CEO and co-founder of Solid Power. “Solid Power now plans to begin producing automotive-scale batteries on the company’s pilot production line in early 2022 as a result of our partners’ continued commitment to Solid Power’s commercialization efforts.”

Solid Power has demonstrated its ability to produce and scale next-generation all solid-state batteries that are designed to power longer range, lower cost and safer electric vehicles using existing lithium-ion battery manufacturing infrastructure.

Solid Power’s leadership in all solid-state battery development and manufacturing has been confirmed with the delivery of hundreds of production line-produced battery cells that were validated by Ford and the BMW Group late last year, formalizing Solid Power’s commercialization plans with its two long-standing automotive partners.

“Solid-state battery technology is important to the future of electric vehicles, and that’s why we’re investing directly,” said Ted Miller, Ford’s manager of Electrification Subsystems and Power Supply Research. “By simplifying the design of solid-state versus lithium-ion batteries, we’ll be able to increase vehicle range, improve interior space and cargo volume, deliver lower costs and better value for customers and more efficiently integrate this kind of solid-state battery cell technology into existing lithium-ion cell production processes.”

“Being a leader in advanced battery technology is of the utmost importance for BMW. The development of all solid-state batteries is one of the most promising and important steps towards more efficient, sustainable, and safer electric vehicles. We now have taken our next step on this path with Solid Power,” said Frank Weber, Member of the Board of Management BMW AG, Development. “Together we have developed a 20 Ah all solid-state cell that is absolutely outstanding in this field. Over the past 10 years, BMW has continuously increased the battery cell competence– important partners like Solid Power share our vision of zero-emission mobility.”

Solid Power is currently producing 20-ampere hour (Ah) multi-layer all solid-state batteries on the company’s continuous roll-to-roll production line, which exclusively utilizes industry standard lithium-ion production processes and equipment.

Both Ford and the BMW Group will receive full-scale 100 Ah cells for automotive qualification testing and vehicle integration beginning in 2022. Solid Power’s all solid-state platform technology allows for the production of unique cell designs expected to meet performance requirements for each automotive partner. Solid Power’s truly all-solid cell designs achieve higher energy densities, are safer and are expected to cost less than today’s best-performing lithium-ion battery cells.

“Volta invested early in Solid Power when our team of energy and commercialization experts found they had not only promising technology, but also a fundamental focus on manufacturability. After all, a breakthrough battery will not find a place in the market if it can’t be produced at scale with acceptable costs,” said Dr. Jeff Chamberlain, CEO of Volta Energy Technologies, a venture capital firm spun out of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory focused on investing in breakthrough energy storage and battery innovations.

“The fact that Solid Power is already producing multi-layer all solid-state batteries using industry-standard automated commercial manufacturing equipment is why Volta is excited to ramp up its earlier investment. The company’s partnership with BMW and Ford will further accelerate the full commercialization of Solid Power’s batteries and position both car companies to be among the first to have EVs on the road powered by safer, affordable, high-energy solid-state batteries.” He added.

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Custodian Investment To Raise $15M Additional Capital

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Shareholders of Custodian Investment Plc yesterday gave their approval to the board of directors of the company to raise the naira equivalent of up to $15 million as additional capital through a convertible loan instrument.

The shareholders, who gave the approval at the 26th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the group held in Lagos, also authorised the directors to convert the loan into shares in the company at a conversion price higher than N6.00 per share or the 12-month historical daily share price of the company derived from the Daily Official List of the Nigeria Exchange Limited (NGX)for the period ended March 23, 2021.

They hailed the board and management for reporting improved financial performance and returns on investment despite the adverse effect of the Covid-19 pandemic which disrupted global and local economies in 2020.

Sunny Nwosu, the founding Coordinator of Independent Shareholders of Nigeria (ISAN), commended the company’s performance and returns on investment. He, however, advised that the company should consider a bonus issue to shareholders because of the robust statutory reserves and regulatory requirements.

Also speaking, the President of Nigeria Shareholders Solidarity Association, Mr. Matthew Akinlade, said the performance was a very good one based on the financial indices.

Another shareholder, Mr. Adebayo Adeleke, commended the company for weathering the storm of 2020 and its challenging operating environment. He praised the company for the foresight of having a holding company which now enables it to make investment decisions easily.

The shareholders approved the final dividend of 55 kobo per share, bringing the total dividend to 65 kobo, having paid an interim dividend of 10 kobo last year.

Addressing the shareholders at the meeting, the Chairman of the board of directors, Dr. (Mrs.) Omobola Johnson, said, “I am delighted to report that our company recorded significant successes during the 2020 financial year despite the challenging operating environment, a fallout of the global Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting weak oil earnings, Naira devaluation and high inflation.”

She noted that the successes recorded by the company in 2020 was an affirmation of the robustness of the group’s business model, which allowed it to quickly adapt to the fast-changing environment, the astute leadership of the company supported by energetic employees using technology to efficiently provide prompt services to clients.

According to her, despite the challenges faced during the year under review, the group more than doubled its profits by posting a profit after tax of N12.69 billion as against N6.01 achieved in 2019.

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