Following a successful bid, Investec Asset Management, one of the largest managers of third party assets in Africa, today announced that it is now, after Actis, the single largest shareholder in Umeme, the leading electricity distribution company in Uganda. This follows the decision by emerging markets private equity firm Actis to reduce its holding in the company via its subsidiary Umeme Holdings, from 60% to 21%.
In a heavily oversubscribed offer, Investec Asset Management secured 18.5% of the company on behalf of its clients at an investment of $40 million.
Commenting on the investment, Roelof Horne, portfolio manager at Investec Asset Management said: “We are always searching across the capital spectrum for investment opportunities that offer our clients access to Africa’s exciting growth potential and infrastructure development is a key investment theme for us. 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. We are confident that our investment will facilitate their continued growth. This investment also reiterates our commitment to identifying high-quality investments that play such a critical role in fostering Uganda’s economic growth.”
Alastair Herbertson, infrastructure investment specialist at Investec Asset Management, concluded: “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.”