NORFUND AND NORFINANCE COMPLETE PURCHASE OF 12.223% STAKE IN EQUITY GROUP HOLDINGS LIMITED

LONDON, 29/04, 2015 – Norfund  and Norfinance AS (a joint venture investment company between Norfund and Norwegian private investors) have completed the purchase of a 12.223% interest in Equity Group Holdings Ltd. (“Equity”), representing half of Helios Investment Partners’ (“Helios”) interest in Equity. The transaction was initially announced on January 16th 2015.

Commenting on the transaction, Babatunde Soyoye, Managing Partner of Helios, said:

“Norfund and Norfinance share Equity’s core values of partnership, promoting financial inclusion and strong corporate governance and Helios is pleased to introduce them as new, like-minded investors. We are proud to have played a role in the bank’s growth and success to date. We look forward to continuing to partner with Equity and support its direct positive impact on the lives of people in the communities within which it operates.”

 

Kjell Roland, Managing Director of Norfund, said:

“Norfund welcomes the completion of the transaction. The investment is strongly in line with Norfund’s strategy to support banks targeting entry level and mass-market retail banking, and SMEs, and strengthens our financial institutions investment portfolio in Africa. We look forward to working with all stakeholders to grow the business further in particular as the bank embarks on its new phase of strategic development.”

 

Dr James Mwangi, Group CEO and Managing Director Equity Group Holding, said

“Equity is delighted to welcome Norfund and Norfinance into the anchor shareholding of the Group. The investment further strengthens and diversifies Equity Group’s capital base and the Bank is confident that the combination of Norfund’s depth of expertise and experience in the financial services sector as well as its demonstrated long term commitment in promoting financial inclusion in emerging and developing markets will be invaluable contributors to Equity’s growth in the years ahead”. 

Helios’ transaction advisors were Goldman Sachs International and Anjarwalla and Khanna. Norfund was advised by Norton Rose Fulbright LLP, KPMG and McKinsey & Company.

 

About Equity Group

Equity Group Holdings Limited is a public company listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange, the Uganda Securities Exchange, and the Rwanda Stock Exchange. Its registered office is Equity Centre, Hospital Road, Upper Hill, P.O.Box 75104 - 00200 Nairobi, Kenya. Equity changed its name from Equity Bank Limited on 31 December 2014 and is now registered as a non-operating holding company with the Central Bank of Kenya. Equity has subsidiaries across the region engaged in provision of banking, insurance agency, investment banking, securities brokerage and information and telecommunications technology outsourcing services.

Further details on Equity Group Holdings Ltd can be found at: www.equitybankgroup.com

 

About Norfund and Norfinance

Norfund is the Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries. Established by the Norwegian Parliament in 1997, the organisation is the government’s main instrument for combatting poverty through private sector development. Norfund’s objective is to contribute to sustainable commercial businesses in developing countries. Funding is provided via capital allocations from Norfund’s development assistance budget. Norfund provides equity, other risk capital, and loans to companies in selected countries and sectors. The sectors in which Norfund invests are clean energy, financial institutions and agribusiness, in addition to small and medium sized companies through investment funds.

Further details on Norfund can be found at: www.norfund.no

Norfinance is a specialized long-term investment company established by Norfund and other Norwegian investors, targeting investments in African financial institutions.

About Helios

Helios Investment Partners is an Africa-focused investment firm managing funds totalling over $3 billion. Helios’ diverse LP base comprises a broad range of the world’s leading investors, including sovereign wealth funds, corporate and public pension funds, endowments and foundations, funds of funds, family offices and development finance institutions across the US, Europe, Asia and Africa. Established in 2004, led and managed by a predominantly African team and based in London, Lagos and Nairobi, Helios has completed investments in countries across the African continent, including Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Angola, South Africa and Morocco.  Helios’ portfolio companies operate in more than 35 countries in all regions of the continent. Helios bridges international capital and know-how to African talent and enterprise. The firm has a record of successful investment in businesses from start-ups to large corporate carve-outs, building African market leaders in core economic sectors and driving strong returns via portfolio operations.

Further details on Helios Investment Partners can be found at: www.heliosinvestment.com