Vantage Capital, Africa’s leading mezzanine debt provider, says it has delivered a funding of $10 million to Simba Properties Investment Company, the property investment arm of Simba Group in Uganda.
The group has five prime property developments in Uganda including hotels and apartments, three of which are in operation while the other two are under development.
“Vantage brings an important and exciting new model of financing to the East African region. Simba Group is pleased to have found a strong mezzanine financing partner who provides medium-term growth capital but does not want to take our hard earned equity,” said Patrick Bitature, the Founder and Chairman of Simba Group.
Simba Property Investment houses Protea Hotel Kampala; CNOOC Building, a five storey office block and Elizabeth Royal Apartments, which consists of 30 high end apartments. Its two properties under development are four star Hotel Naguru and Moyo Close Apartments – made up of 14 high end apartments located in Kololo at the capital city of Kampala.
Asides dominating the property market, the Simba Group has business interests in telecom (Simba Telecom), energy (Electro-Maxx and True North Power), agriculture (Simba Farms), mining (gold) and other industries (such as Simba Electronics, Simba Travel Care and Zuku TV).
“We are proud to have invested with the Simba Group, a leading and influential group of companies in Uganda with a strong commitment to the country and to the East African region,” said Mokgome Mogoba, Associate Partner at Vantage.
Warren van der Merwe, Chief Operating Officer of the Mezzanine capital provider, noted that “Simba has managed to build an impressive and successful group of businesses, through a combination of entrepreneurial flair and highly professional management. “Theirs is the kind of story that underpins our Pan African investment strategy of supporting mid-market family-owned businesses that are seeking to raise growth capital without having to dilute their shareholding. This is the kind of Group we would like to back in future transactions.”
The investment in Simba Properties is in line with Vantage’s pan-African strategy of focusing on high-growth African markets in the East African Community (EAC), Nigeria, Ghana, as well as other countries in southern Africa.
Simba Properties is Vantage’s first investment in Uganda. It is also the twelfth mezzanine transaction in Vantage’s second fund, of which more than 85 percent has been expended on various investments. Vantage has commenced the raising of its third mezzanine fund, which is targeted to close by the first quarter of 2015 at $250 million.