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Sub Saharan Africa Mergers and Acquisition Transactions Totalled US$ 6.1 Billion in Q1 2021

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Refinitiv today released the investment banking analysis for the Sub-Saharan African for the first quarter of 2021. According to the report, an estimated US$99.3 million worth of investment banking fees were generated in Sub-Saharan Africa during the first quarter of 2021, down 39% from the same period in 2020 and the lowest first quarter total since 2014. 

While debt capital markets underwriting fees doubled to US$47.1 million, the highest first quarter total since our records began in 1980, fees from equity capital markets underwriting, M&A advisory and syndicated lending all declined from the first quarter of 2020.  Equity fees declined 42% to US$21.8 million, while syndicated lending fees declined 74% to US$15.0 million. 

Advisory fees earned in the region from completed M&A transactions reached US$15.5 million, down 65% from last year to the lowest first quarter total since 2005. Seventy-two percent of all Sub-Saharan African fees were generated in South Africa during the first quarter of 2021, and 39% were earned from deals in the financial sector. B Riley Financial Inc. earned the most investment banking fees in the region during the first quarter of 2021, a total of US$19.8 million or a 20% share of the total fee pool.

MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS

The value of announced M&A transactions with any Sub-Saharan African involvement reached US$6.1 billion during the first three months of 2021, almost level with the value recorded during the same period in 2020, and a five-year low.  The number of deals declined 14% over the same period to the lowest first quarter tally since 2014.

M&A involving a Sub-Saharan African target increased 73% year-on-year to US$4.3 billion during the first quarter of 2021.  Domestic deals increased 67% from last year to US$2.5 billion, while inbound deals, involving an acquiror outside of Sub-Saharan Africa, increased 83% to US$1.8 billion.  Meanwhile, Sub-Saharan African outbound M&A totalled US$721.4 million during the first quarter of 2021, down 66% year-on-year to the lowest first quarter level in six years.

The Zambian Government, through its mining investment arm ZCCM Investment Holdings, acquired the Mopani Copper Mines for US$1.5 billion in January.  The acquisition is the largest deal in the region to be announced so far during 2021.

With advisory work on deals worth a combined U$668.5 million, BofA Securities held the top spot in the financial advisor ranking for deals with any Sub-Saharan African involvement during Q1 2021.

EQUITY CAPITAL MARKETS

Sub-Saharan African equity and equity-related issuance reached just US$18.4 million during the first quarter of 2021, the lowest first quarter total since 1999.  Only Nigeria payments processing firm eTranzact raised new equity funds from its follow-on offering.  There were no initial public offerings. PAC Capital, Meristem Securities and Standard Bank Group share first place in the Sub-Saharan African ECM underwriting league table during the first quarter of 2021.

DEBT CAPITAL MARKETS

Sub-Saharan African debt issuance totalled US$12.1 billion during the first quarter of 2021, up 36% from the value recorded during the same period in 2020 and the highest first quarter total since 2018.  The number of issues declined 6% over the same period.  With Ghana’s government’s Eurobond raising US$2.9 billion and The African Development Bank’s $2.5 billion 5-year Benchmark bond, March 2021 saw more proceeds raised from bond issuance in Sub-Saharan Africa than any other month since May 2018, a total of US$7.4 billion.  Government & Agency issuance accounted for 64% of proceeds raised during the first quarter of 2021. Standard Chartered took the top spot in the Sub-Saharan African bond book runner ranking during the first quarter of 2021, with US$1.4 billion of related proceeds, or an 11.5% market share.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Insurance

Sanlam to Acquire 60% Stake in MultiChoice’s Insurance Arm for R1.2bn

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South African insurance giant Sanlam Limited has announced plans to acquire a 60% stake in NMS Insurance Services (NMSIS), the insurance subsidiary of pay TV operator MultiChoice Group, for R1.2 billion.

This strategic acquisition aims to enhance Sanlam’s footprint in the African insurance market and leverage MultiChoice’s extensive subscriber base across the continent.

In a joint statement released on Tuesday, both companies revealed that the deal includes a long-term commercial arrangement designed to expand insurance and related financial services to MultiChoice’s diverse audience.

The transaction also features a performance-based cash earn-out potential of up to R1.5 billion, contingent upon the gross written premium generated by NMSIS by the end of 2026.

Paul Hanratty, CEO of Sanlam Group, expressed optimism about the acquisition, stating, “This partnership provides a unique opportunity to combine our market presence and technological capabilities, fostering growth and market penetration while creating synergies beneficial to all stakeholders.”

Calvo Mawela, CEO of MultiChoice, highlighted the strategic significance of the collaboration, noting, “This deal not only enhances the value we provide to our subscribers but also taps into Sanlam’s expertise to drive innovation and growth in our insurance offerings across Africa. It’s a testament to the hard work and dedication of our teams.”

NMSIS has shown impressive growth, with gross written premiums increasing by 36% year-on-year and profit after tax rising by 51% in the first quarter of 2024.

MultiChoice plans to use the proceeds from the sale for working capital while retaining a 40% interest in NMSIS.

The move comes as MultiChoice faces economic challenges, including a 13% drop in subscribers in key markets such as Nigeria, Angola, Kenya, and Zambia due to economic hardships and currency devaluations.

Despite these setbacks, the partnership with Sanlam is seen as a strategic step to bolster its financial services offerings and stabilize revenue streams.

The announcement also follows recent regulatory developments, with MultiChoice entering a Cooperation Agreement with Groupe Canal+ SA after Canal+ acquired a 45.20% stake in MultiChoice, necessitating a mandatory offer under South African takeover regulations.

As the African insurance market continues to grow, Sanlam’s acquisition of a significant stake in NMSIS positions both companies to capitalize on emerging opportunities, providing innovative insurance solutions to millions of customers across the continent.

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Finance

GTBank Takes 60 Bank Executives to Court Over N17bn Loan Dispute

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Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) has initiated legal proceedings against 60 top executives from 13 commercial banks in Nigeria.

The action stems from an ongoing dispute involving a N17 billion Anchor Borrowers Programme loan granted to AFEX Commodity Exchange.

The executives, including chairmen, chief executive officers, directors, and company secretaries, are facing contempt of court charges for allegedly failing to enforce a No-Debit-Order on AFEX Commodity Exchange’s accounts. The legal battle, which has drawn significant attention in the financial sector, is being closely monitored by industry stakeholders.

Details of the Case

The Federal High Court in Lagos, presided over by Justice CJ Aneke, signed an order to hold the executives accountable for disobeying its ruling dated May 27, 2024.

The court’s decision mandates the executives, including those from prominent banks such as Access Bank, Citibank, Jaiz Bank, Union Bank, Fidelity Bank, and First Bank of Nigeria Plc, to comply with the directive or face jail time.

The case, registered as FHC/L/CS/911/2024, involves GTBank and AFEX Commodity Exchange. The court had previously ordered 20 banks to transfer funds from AFEX’s accounts to GTBank until the outstanding N17.81 billion loan is repaid.

This sum includes the principal amount of N15.77 billion and additional recovery costs and expenses totaling N2.04 billion.

Contempt Proceedings

The legal notice, titled ‘Order to Serve Notice of Disobedience to Order of Court via Newspaper Publication,’ was published in national dailies, signaling the gravity of the situation.

The notice serves as a warning to the bank executives about the consequences of failing to adhere to the court’s order.

In addition to the commercial banks, the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), acting as the liquidator for Heritage Bank, has also been cited for contempt.

The matter is set for further hearing next Thursday, where the court will decide the fate of the implicated executives.

Background and Implications

The dispute originates from a loan facility extended to AFEX Commodity Exchange under the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) Anchor Borrowers Programme.

The loan was intended to finance smallholder farmers, with repayment expected through the sale of agricultural produce. However, AFEX reportedly defaulted on the loan, prompting GTBank to seek legal recourse.

AFEX has countered by stating that it has repaid 90% of the loan and is in ongoing discussions with the CBN regarding the remaining balance. The commodities exchange has cited economic challenges and macroeconomic policies, such as the naira redesign, which adversely affected the farmers’ ability to repay the loans.

The court has also permitted GTBank to take control of AFEX’s 16 warehouses across seven states, allowing the bank to sell the stored commodities to recover the outstanding loan.

Industry Reaction

The case has sparked concerns about the efficiency and integrity of Nigeria’s banking and financial sectors.

Charles Akinbobola, a senior energy analyst at Sofidam Capital, said, “The challenge of the power sector has not entirely been the scarcity of funds. Several trillions of naira have been pumped into that industry. The sector has been plagued by the shortcomings of its managers.”

Experts like Muda Yusuf, CEO of the Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise, emphasize the need for addressing fundamental issues in the electricity value chain, such as technical and commercial losses, which continue to burden consumers with inefficiency costs.

As the legal proceedings unfold, the financial community will be watching closely to see how this high-stakes battle impacts the involved parties and the broader financial sector in Nigeria.

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Banking Sector

Guaranty Trust Holding Plans N500 Billion Share Offering

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Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc (GTCOPLC) has announced plans to raise up to N500 billion through a new share offering, according to a preliminary prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

This move aims to support the company’s ambitious growth and expansion strategy.

GTCOPLC’s proposed offering will involve the subscription of ordinary shares of 50 kobo each, although the exact number of shares and the price range are yet to be determined.

The offering includes a concurrent filing of a preliminary universal shelf registration statement, allowing the company to issue various types of securities, potentially raising up to $750 million in multiple currencies.

Purpose of the Offering

The funds raised from this offering will primarily be allocated towards:

  1. Business Growth and Expansion: GTCOPLC plans to invest significantly in technology infrastructure to enhance its current operations. Additionally, the company intends to establish new subsidiaries and make selective acquisitions of non-banking businesses.
  2. Recapitalization of Guaranty Trust Bank Limited: Part of the proceeds will be used to strengthen the capital base of its banking subsidiary.

Target Investors and Structure

The offering is structured to attract both institutional and retail investors. It will be divided into two main tranches:

  • Nigerian Tranche: An institutional and retail offering aimed at eligible investors within Nigeria.
  • International Tranche: A private placement targeting qualified institutional buyers outside Nigeria.

Listing and Trading

GTCOPLC has also filed an application with the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) to list and admit the new ordinary shares for trading on the NGX Official List.

The company anticipates opening the offering by July 2024.

Financial Strategy

The universal shelf registration will enable GTCOPLC to issue a variety of securities over time, with a total value of up to $750 million (or its equivalent in Nigerian Naira).

This approach provides the company with flexibility to raise capital in different markets during the programme’s validity period. The current proposed offering will be the first issuance under this new programme.

Regulatory Compliance

GTCOPLC emphasized that this notice does not constitute an offer of securities for sale in the United States or to U.S. persons, as defined under Regulation S of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933.

The offered shares have not been, and will not be, registered under the U.S. Securities Act or any state securities laws, and cannot be sold in the United States without proper registration or an applicable exemption.

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