Helios invests in Fawry, Egypt’s leading electronic bill presentment and payment platform
12th November 2015
A consortium of international financial investors comprising the Egyptian-American Enterprise Fund (“EAEF”), Helios Investment Partners (“Helios”, acting on behalf of funds it advises) and the MENA Long-Term Value Fund (“MENA LTV”) (together, the “Consortium”) today announced it ha...
Helios satisfies $50 million OPIC loan
8th September 2015
WASHINGTON – Helios Investment Partners (“Helios”) has repaid in full a $50 million loan to the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. government’s development finance institution. The OPIC loan, which was issued in 2006, helped capitalize Helios Investors, L.P. (the “Fund”) ...
HTN Towers enters into agreement to increase its tower portfolio by up to 58% following deal with SWAP Technologies and Telecomms Plc
28th August 2015
HTN Towers, the pioneer of tower infrastructure sharing in Africa, announces it has executed a Managed Services and Co-location Agreement with SWAP Technologies and Telecomms Plc (‘SWAP’).
Africa Oil announces $50 million investment from IFC
18th August 2015
(AOI-TSX, AOI-Nasdaq Stockholm) … Africa Oil Corp. (“Africa Oil” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that it has entered into an equity subscription agreement with International Finance Corporation (“IFC”), a member of the World Bank Group, to sell, on a non-b...
Africa Oil Pipeline Update
12th August 2015
(AOI-TSX, AOI-Nasdaq Stockholm) Africa Oil Corp. (“Africa Oil”, “AOC” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that following a state visit to Uganda by His Excellency Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya, a joint communiqué from both Governments...
Helios/Vitol consortium to acquire majority stake in Oando’s downstream businesses
30th July 2015
A consortium comprising Helios Investment Partners (“Helios”, acting on behalf of funds it advises) and The Vitol Group (“Vitol”) (together, the “Consortium”) today announced it has reached an agreement to acquire 60 per cent of the economic rights and 51 per cent of the voting rights in the&n...
Crown Agents agrees sale of Bank and Investment Management businesses to Helios
27th July 2015
Crown Agents Limited (“Crown Agents”) today announced it has agreed terms relating to the sale of 100% of its financial services businesses, Crown Agents Bank Limited (“CAB”) and Crown Agents Investment Management Limited (“CAIM”), to funds advised by Helios Investment Partners (“He...
Sale to Genesis completed of approximately 4.2% of Equity Bank shares
6th July 2015
Completion of Purchase of 4.21% stage in Equity Group Holdings Limited (Equity Group) by Genesis Investment Management LLP (Genesis) from Helios EB Investors II, Ltd (Helios) Nairobi 30th June, 2015. We are pleased to announce that funds managed by Genesis have acquired from Helios 155,854,000 shares (comprising appr...
Sale of over 20% of Helios’ remaining Equity Bank stake completed
24th June 2015
Completion of purchase of 2.44% stake in Equity Group Holdings Limited (Equity Group) by National Social Security Fund of Uganda (NSSF Uganda) from Helios EB Investors II, LTD (Helios) We are pleased to announce that NSSF Uganda has completed the purchase of a 2.44% stake in Equity Group Holdings Limited (“Equity Grou...
Helios exits market leader Continental Outdoor Media
18th June 2015
A shareholder group led by Helios Investment Partners (“Helios”) alongside The Rohatyn Group and RMB Corvest, has completed the sale of Continental Outdoor Media (“Continental”) to the number one outdoor advertising company worldwide, JCDecaux SA, in partnership with a community owned investment comp...
OPIC approves financing of up to $250 million for Bayport
11th June 2015
More than $1.5 billion approved in crucial sectors including energy, access to finance, telecommunications, and affordable housing WASHINGTON – The Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s Development Finance Institution, approved financing and i...
GEPF invests in Bayport
20th May 2015
Bayport Management Ltd (“BML or “the Group”), a leading emerging market provider of innovative, relevant and uplifting financial solutions to a broad economically active population, today announced the $149 million investment into the Group by the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) for a minority stake.&n...
Helios appointed SSA sub-advisor to emerging markets debt fund
13th May 2015
TriLinc Global Impact Fund has approved a new term loan sub-advisor for business expansion and socioeconomic development in Sub-Saharan Africa, broadening its term loan and trade finance investment capabilities in Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia.
Helios invests in Africa Oil Corp
5th May 2015
LONDON, 5th May 2015 – Funds advised by Helios Investment Partners (“Helios”) have agreed to invest $100m for a 12.4% stake in Africa Oil Corp. (“Africa Oil” or “the Company”).
29th April 2015
London - On the 29th of April 2015, the Private Equity Africa Awards exclusively celebrated the achievements of GP Investors and Advisors in 2014. The final award winners were selected by an independent panel of judges. Helios Investment Partners was honoured with two awards. COMPANY OF THE YEAR...
Norfund and NorFinance to acquire half Helios' Equity Bank stake
16th January 2015
LONDON, January 16th, 2015 – Norfund and NorFinance AS (a joint venture investment company between Norfund and Norwegian private investors) have agreed terms with Helios Investment Partners (“Helios”) to purchase from Helios an effective stake equivalent to 12.223% in Equity Group Holdings Ltd. (“Equ...
Helios Investment Partners poised to close $1.1 billion African private equity fund
12th January 2015
London, 12th January 2015 – Helios Investment Partners (“Helios”), a leading pan-African private investment firm, today announced it has exceeded the $1 billion target set for its third Africa-focused fund and the firm will shortly be closing the fund at its $1.1 billion hard cap. Continued strong support ...
Site Aims to Spur Ecommerce in Africa
7th January 2015
With their dot-com expansions, retailers usually steer clear of Africa. “Over 95 percent of U.S. and U.K. e-commerce sites do not ship to Africa,” said Chris Folayan, the Nigerian-born founder and chief executive officer of the Mall for Africa. “The three biggest concerns are people using stolen&nb...
Helios wins 2018 specialist deal award for GBfoods Africa
A mobile answer to Egypt's lack of bank accounts
After launching bill payment in shops, Fawry is pushing payment by phone. See the full article in the Financial Times at: https://www.ft.com/content/b8d1c222-87e3-11e7-8bb1-5ba57d47eff7
Foreign firms learn lessons of Africa's growth
The middle class in Africa has tripled over the last 30 years and is forecast to total 1.1 billion people by 2060, providing an abundance of new customers for both domestic and international companies. This nascent consumer base is changing the perception many investors have of Africa: https://www.raconteur.net/business/foreign-firms-learn-lessons-of-africas-growth
eBay opens US platform to Africa with MallforAfrica.com partnership
Americans can now buy African goods on eBay through MallforAfrica.com. The new online channel expands an existing relationship between the two e-commerce companies. In 2016, they launched the eBay Powered by MallforAfrica platform allowing US vendors to sell in Africa. For more details, see: https://techcrunch.com/2017/08/22/ebay-opens-u-s-platform-to-africa-with-mallforafrica-com-partnership/
Off Grid Electric - The $7 a month plan bringing solar energy to rural Africa
The $7 a month plan bringing solar energy to rural Africa
By Jacopo Prisco, CNN
Off Grid Electric provides solar energy to homes in Tanzania and Rwanda
Plans are financed through microtransactions starting at about $7/month
(CNN) — In sub-Saharan Africa, over 600 million people do not have access to electricity -- that's 68 percent of the population, according to the International Energy Agency.
That's because the power distribution infrastructure -- plants and the grid -- is severely underdeveloped, requires large investments to improve and ultimately can't keep up with the growth in demand.
One solution to the problem is to go "off the grid," mimicking the rapid distribution of mobile phones: over 90 percent of Africans have access to cell phone service -- more than have access to clean water -- but only a fraction of them owns a landline. In the energy sector, the cellphone equivalent is the solar panel, which is easily installed and can provide power to a household or small business.
Off Grid Electric, an African startup, is applying this formula to rural areas of Tanzania and Rwanda yielding both commercial success and life-transforming results for the recipients.
The company is backed by Elon Musk's SolarCity, one of the largest solar energy providers in the US, and Helios, Africa's largest private equity firm.
In November, at the UN's climate change conference in Marrakech, it won the 2016 Momentum for Change Award, which focused on projects that are addressing climate change in innovative ways.
It already powers 125,000 households and employs around 1,000 people -- about a third as salesmen who offer the energy packages door to door.
"Most of these families were burning kerosene to make light, with a negative impact on their health and wellbeing," Bill Lenihan, Off Grid Electric's President, told CNN.
Kerosene produces smoke and can't power anything but a lantern: "Now they have access to clean energy that can also power radios and TVs."
The system includes a solar panel, installed on a roof, and lithium-ion battery which provides electricity around the clock: "Kids can study at night, entrepreneurs can increase their income because their phones work all day and farmers can better protect their cattle -- it's like night and day," said Kim Schreiber, the company's chief of staff.
There are three different sizes of photovoltaic panels, the smallest of which can power four lights and charge one mobile phone.
"We also provide all the energy efficient accessories that go with these, from lights to chargers, to radios and TVs," said Lenihan.
Customers pay 10 percent of their package upfront, the rest is financed through monthly installments.
The costs are competitive, according to Off Grid Electric: "Just connecting to the grid can cost $300 to $400, whereas our system is $7 a month and after three years you own it and never have to pay again," said Schreiber.
Larger packages cost more: for eight lights, a radio and a 24-inch TV, the monthly fee is about $20. In comparison, a month's supply of kerosene typically costs $4 to $5.
The payments are collected via mobile phone transactions, a popular method in the continent, and a five-year service plan is included if something breaks. The battery can last seven years, and the panel itself up to 20.
In case a customer can't keep up with the plan, Off Grid Electric says it offers "room for flexibility," and ultimately the system will be removed after several months of missed installments. But most customers stay on board, according to Lenihan: "The uptake has been very strong, people continue to pay, and the growth has been really good."
Providing electricity to people in sub-Saharan Africa is "a cottage industry and a trillion dollar challenge," said Lenihan.
"We can solve a problem and do it in a way that delivers a return to shareholders, which is the biggest challenge in an industry that, as a whole, has addressed less than 1 percent of this market," he said.
For small businesses, the company offers a package called Zola, which contains everything needed to run a business on solar power, including appliances and entertainment systems.
Off Grid Electric has recently signed a partnership with EDF, the world's largest utility, to expand the program to the Ivory Coast, with a goal of providing clean energy to 2 million people by 2020.
A growth engine: Trends and outcomes of private equity in Africa
This report from The Economist Corporate Network is informed by interactions with leading private equity advocates and actors who support the asset class in Africa.Click here to download
Helios wins two 2017 Private Equity Africa awards
Helios Investment Partners was recognized at the Private Equity Africa Awards 2017 with the Venture Philanthropy Award, and the Large Cap Deal of the Year for Oando Gas and Power.Click here to download