Investec Asset Management said this week it will continuously scour the continent for investment opportunities, following its decision to increase a stake in Umeme, a leading electricity distribution company in Uganda. The move follows a decision by Actis, an emerging markets private equity firm, to reduce its holding in Umeme from 60 percent to 21 percent. Investec is now, after Actis, the single largest shareholder in the company.
Investec Asset Management is one of the largest managers of third party assets in Africa, and has operations in Botswana headed by Martinus Seboni. It successfully bid on the stake in Uganda’s energy company. In a heavily oversubscribed offer, Investec Asset Management secured 18.5 percent of the company on behalf of its clients at an investment of $40 million (about P347 million).
Investec’s Portfolio Manager, Roelof Horne, said the asset management company is always searching across the capital spectrum for investment opportunities that offer clients access to Africa’s exciting growth potential and infrastructure development. He said this is a key investment theme for Investec as Umeme is a critical component of the Ugandan energy sector, with the laudable ambition of providing access to safe, reliable and cost effective power.
“On a continent where the lack of energy provision has proven to be one of the biggest constraints to realising economic potential, Umeme has greatly improved and extended access to power across Uganda over the past decade,” Horne said.
He expressed confidence that the investment will facilitate their continued growth, saying it reiterates the company’s commitment to identifying high-quality investments that play a critical role in fostering Uganda’s economic growth.
“Investing in Umeme is an indication of Investec Asset Management’s developing ability to invest in infrastructure. This type of investment is a means of supporting African economies by reducing the cost of doing business and generating future opportunities for further investment,” Alastair Herbertson, infrastructure investment specialist at Investec Asset Management, said.