The funds are directed to five prime property developments in Uganda, three of which are operating and two of which are under development.
About Vantage Capital
Vantage Capital Group (http://www.vantagecapital.co.za/) was established in 2001 with funds under management of $14 million (R150 million) and now currently manages over $450 million (R5 billion). In addition to managing technology, mezzanine debt and renewable energy debt funds, Vantage also provides advisory and origination services through its debt capital markets division and makes proprietary investments using its balance sheet capital.
Capital for the Vantage Mezzanine and Vantage GreenX funds has been sourced from over thirty institutions including many leading African pension funds like the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) in South Africa and the Debswana Pension Fund in Botswana, development funders such as the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) and the Norwegian Fund for Development (Norfund), and private sector endowments such as the Kellogg Foundation from the United States.
Vantage has offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town and in addition to its home market in South Africa, targets debt opportunities in a number of high-growth African countries including Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Botswana and Namibia. Mezzanine is an intermediate form of risk capital, which is situated between senior debt, the least risky tranche of the capital structure, and equity, the most risky. It combines elements of both debt and equity thereby providing companies with long-term funding on terms which are less dilutive to shareholders than pure equity.
About Simba Group
Simba Group (http://the-simba-group.com) is an East African conglomerate with business interests in telecom, energy, property, agriculture, mining and other industries. It was started by Patrick and Carol Bitature in 1998 with an objective of becoming the largest mobile phone retailer and airtime distributor in East Africa. Since accomplishing that goal, Simba Group has gone on to become one of the largest most respected companies in East Africa. The Group has recently founded the first indigenous independent power plant in Africa and is focused on starting and growing businesses which improve the infrastructure and livelihoods of East Africans.
KAMPALA, Uganda, December 15, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ – Vantage Capital (“Vantage”), Africa’s leading mezzanine debt provider, today announced it has provided $10m of funding to Simba Properties Investment Company (“Simba Properties”), the property investment arm of Simba Group in Uganda which houses five prime property developments in Uganda, three of which are operating and two of which are under development.
The three operating properties, which are all located in the upmarket suburb of Kololo in Kampala, are:
-Protea Hotel Kampala: a four star, 70 bed luxury hotel which has been operational since 2007 and has won World Luxury Hotel Awards in 2010/11/12/13 and Africa Luxury Business Hotel Award in 2013 in Uganda;
-CNOOC Building: a five storey office block which has been operational since end of 2011 and which is leased to blue chip companies operating in Uganda;
-Elizabeth Royal Apartments: 30 high end apartments which Simba Group started leasing out from August 2013 and which are leased to foreign multinationals for use by their expatriates.
The two properties under development are:
-Hotel Naguru: a four star, 140 bed luxury hotel on top of Naguru Hill (another prime location in Kampala) which is anticipated to be operational in Q4 2015;
-Moyo Close Apartments: 14 high end apartments located in Kololo which are anticipated to be completed in Q1 2015.
In addition to property, 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). Simba Group was started by the husband and wife team of Patrick and Carol Bitature in 1998 and has grown into one of the leading domestic investment groups in Uganda.
Patrick Bitature, the Founder and Chairman of Simba Group said, “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.”
Mokgome Mogoba, Associate Partner at Vantage, said “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.”
Warren van der Merwe, Chief Operating Officer at Vantage, added “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 follows Vantage’s pan-African strategy of focusing on high-growth African markets such as the East African Community members, Ghana, Nigeria, and some of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries.
Simba Properties is Vantage’s first investment in Uganda and the twelfth mezzanine transaction in Vantage’s second fund, which is now more than 85% invested. Vantage has commenced the raising of its third mezzanine fund, which is targeted to close by the first quarter of 2015 at $250 million.