Africa50 completes a growth equity investment in PAIX Data Centres

Africa50 has just completed an equity investment of $20m into PAIX Data Centres, forming the first tranche of PAIX’s Series B financing by Africa 50. The funds will be used to expand PAIX’s data centre capacity and its growth plans into new African markets.

PAIX currently operates one data centre in Accra and one in Nairobi. Africa50 is the company’s first institutional investor and will be supporting the company’s expansion of its world class cloud-and-carrier-neutral data centres across the continent.

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Africa’s petroleum retail sector to undergo more M&A activity

As Africa’s petroleum retailers seek to achieve better economies of scale, the sector will continue to experience mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity in coming years, according to a new study by pan-African investment research agency Hawilti. Challenging operating and regulatory environments in Africa have already led to the exit of most major international oil marketing companies, to the benefit of national and regional actors. But additional consolidation is expected, especially around a few well-established companies. Four players in particular known as “The Big 4” are emerging as leaders in the marketing and distribution of petroleum products on the continent: TotalEnergies, Vivo Energy, Engen and OLA Energy. Together, these companies are increasingly shaping up supply and distribution dynamics on the continent as consumption rises. Meanwhile, the sector’s operating environment continues to be marked by several trends that will affect performances and strategies moving forward. A major one, particular to Africa, is the small size of the continent’s refining industry. Small, old and uncommercial refining facilities continue to make most African markets net importers of petroleum products. While Africa’s refining capacity stagnates, the continent’s demand and consumption for petroleum products keeps increasing at some of the world’s fastest rates, which in turn affect supply dynamics for oil marketers and the demand for storage infrastructure. The second major trend affecting the sector is that of decarbonisation. Oil marketers are increasingly embracing sustainability, leading to the diversification of the energy supplied to African retail and commercial customers. Beyond the ongoing solarisation of several retail stations on the continent, oil marketers are also diversifying their offering to offer clean energy products and hybrid solutions to their commercial clients. Natural gas products, especially LPG and CNG, are notably expected to witness to most significant growth in Africa during the 2020 – 2030 decade. The demand for clean cooking fuels in Africa is notably growing by double-digit figures as governments incentivise the switch to clean cooking for public health and environmental reasons. Titled “Petroleum Products’ Distribution in Africa: the Emergence of the Big 4,” the report is now available for all users of the Hawilti+ research terminal.

AXIAN Telecom makes successful debut on debt capital markets

AXIAN Telecom, the pan-African provider of telecommunications, mobile money services and digital infrastructure, has successfully priced its $420m senior notes due in 2027. The company raised capital to finance the repayment of some of its existing debt and support its overall growth across the continent. Since 2004, AXIAN Telecom has expanded into Tanzania, Madagascar, Togo, Mauritius and Uganda, and has joint ventures in Senegal, Réunion-Mayotte, and Comoros. The bond was launched on February 9th and was supposed by anchor orders from major development finance institutions (DFIs) such as the CDC Group of the UK, the DEG of Germany, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), but also the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF). The bond was priced at 7.375% and the order book ended up being 2.2x oversubscribed, with half of the investors coming from the United States.