TPG Growth to Acquire TRACE, an African music and entertainment company

19 Jan 2018

Leveraging its global experience in media, entertainment and technology, TPG Growth to partner with TRACE’s co-founder and management to build a global leader for Afro-urban music and entertainment.

TPG Growth, the middle market and growth equity investment platform of global alternative asset firm TPG, announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire a majority stake in TRACE, the market leader in afro-urban music and entertainment. The remaining stake will be owned by TRACE’s co-founder and management team. TPG Growth will invest alongside Evolution Media and Satya Capital.

As part of the transaction, MTG, a leading international digital entertainment group that invested in TRACE in 2014, will sell its stake in the company. The transaction is subject to standard closing conditions, including regulatory clearance.

Founded in 2003, TRACE is a global multi-platform media and entertainment company that reaches 200 million viewers and listeners across 160 countries. Recognized as the leading youth media brand in Sub-Saharan Africa, TRACE owns and operates 30 digital and mobile services, 21 pay TV channels, and seven FM radio stations. The platform hosts more than 400 concerts, web simulcasts with 360 degree immersive technology, talent search competitions and events across the globe each year.

Select initiatives include:

  • TRACE Play, a subscription-based streaming service offering live TV, radio, and on-demand programs via desktop, mobile and connected platforms such as Roku and Amazon Fire.
  • TRACE Mobile, a South African mobile virtual network operator, offering more than 2 million consumers unique data, loyalty program and content features.
  • Tailored TV channels available in nine languages, such as TRACE Naija for Nigerian customers, TRACE Mziki, the leading music channel in East Africa, TRACE Toca for Afro-Lusophone fans, TRACE Africa, the leading music channel for Francophone Western Africa and TRACE Urban, the second most watched music channel in France.

“By partnering with TPG Growth, a global investor known for its ability to grow and scale businesses, we are well-positioned to build on our success and accelerate our transformation into the leading global afro-urban digital entertainment group. We will leverage our unique assets and TPG Growth’s deep experience with groundbreaking entertainment and technology businesses to launch “Episode 2” of TRACE,” said Olivier Laouchez, co-founder, Chairman, and CEO of TRACE.

TPG Growth’s investments in media and entertainment have included Spotify, a leading music streaming service, ipsy, an online makeup subscription and delivery service, and STX Entertainment, a next-generation motion picture, television, and digital content studio. Across TPG’s platforms, current and past investments also include Airbnb, Vice Media, Creative Artists Agency, Cirque du Soleil, and Uber.

“The African music and entertainment industry is dynamic and has experienced huge growth in the last decade, driven by the booming youth population and rapid adoption of digital technology,” said Yemi Lalude, Managing Partner at TPG Africa. “As smartphone penetration on the African continent continues to rise, the way young people consume content is migrating to mobile and digital. We are very excited to help grow the TRACE brand not only in Africa but worldwide.”

TPG Growth’s partnership with TRACE highlights the rich opportunities that exist to invest in companies that have a presence in Africa, but can also operate successfully on a global level.
TPG Growth has five investments across Africa, which include:

  • Gro Intelligence, a global agricultural data business.
  • Frontier Car Group, which supports Nigeria’s second-car sales business
  • Ecoles Yassamine, a Moroccan private school network.


About TPG Growth

TPG Growth is the middle market and growth equity investment platform of TPG, the global private investment firm. With more than US$13bn of assets under management, TPG Growth targets investments in a broad range of industries and geographies. TPG Growth has the deep sector knowledge, operational resources, and global experience to drive value creation, and help companies reach their full potential. The firm is backed by the resources of TPG, which has more than US$73bn of assets under management. For more information, visit


TRACE is a global multi-platform media and entertainment company that connects with multicultural audiences through premium afro urban music and content across 21 pay TV channels, radios, motion picture, online and mobile services in over 160 countries to 200M viewers and listeners. Launched in 2003, following the acquisition of the print magazine of the same name, TRACE has become the leading media brand for the connected Afro Urban youth in Sub-Saharan Africa, France, the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean.


Erika White, 415-743-1550


Portland (UK/Africa)
Katie Emms, +44 20 7554 1738

Sophie Vouteau, + 33 (0)1 77 68 05 22

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