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Aziz Mebarek’s AfricInvest acquires minority stake in Nigerian insurer REGIC

REGIC is a Nigerian insurer established in 2018 during the restructuring of Royal Exchange Assurance Nigeria.

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AfricInvest Founder Aziz Mebarek.

Tunisian investment firm AfricInvest has acquired a minority stake in the Nigerian Royal Exchange General Insurance Company (REGIC) through its private equity fund, FIVE (Financial Inclusion Vehicle), in the form of a subscription to a capital increase.

Africinvest is a leading pan-African asset management platform co-founded by Tunisian businessman Aziz Mebarek in 1994.

The company, which has dedicated investment teams focused on North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, covers private equity, venture capital and private credit.

Following the acquisition, Africnvest joins Royal Exchange Group and the InsuResilience Investment Fund (IIF), an initiative of Germany’s development bank KfW, as shareholders in REGIC, one of Nigeira’s largest non-life insurance companies. 

The IIF invested in REGIC in July 2019.

In a statement, AfricInvest Senior Partner and FIVE Co-Head Mehdi Gharbi said: “REGIC represents a perfect fit with the investment strategy of FIVE as it combines return and impact.”

The investment helps REGIC generate additional working capital for its operations.

Vanguard reported that the key drivers behind the deal was the company’s desire to participate in more large-ticket corporate transactions, diversify existing business and product lines and diversify delivery channels.

Royal Exchange General Insurance Company

REGIC is a Nigerian insurer established in 2018 during the restructuring of the century-old Royal Exchange Assurance Nigeria Plc as one of its subsidiaries. 

The parent company is licensed to cover life and non-life insurance with products such as general insurance, health insurance, life assurance, banking products and services for asset management, credit financing and microfinancing.

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Nigeria’s oldest bank confirms billionaire Femi Otedola’s acquisition of $54.2-million stake

Otedola is known for building corporate juggernauts in the energy, shipping, real estate and finance sectors.

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Nigerian billionaire Femi Otedola. ©Billionaires.Africa

After a frenzied 24 hours of back and forth between the media and one of Nigeria’s largest banking groups, First Bank of Nigeria Holdings (FBNH), its management has confirmed the acquisition of a substantial stake in the lender by Nigerian billionaire Femi Otedola.

In a notification sent to the Nigerian Exchange, the financial services group disclosed that Otedola has completed the acquisition of a 5.07-percent stake, or 1,818,551,625 units of shares, from the company’s issued share capital, which amounts to a total of 35,895,292,791 shares.

Information contained in the notification revealed that the billionaire made the acquisition through one of his investment vehicles, Calvados Global Services Limited, which was at the forefront of his sale of a 75-percent stake in Forte Oil Plc to Prudent Energy in 2019.

The acquisition of the shares worth N22.27 billion ($54.2 million) makes him one of the largest shareholders in the Nigeria-based lender, ahead of Obafemi Otudeko, the former chairman of FBNH, and Remi Babalola, who is the current chairman of the holding.

FBNH has a free float unit of 35,773,669,647 ordinary shares, which translates to 99.67 percent of the company’s 35,895,292,791 issued shares.

Otedola’s acquisition of the stake has sent the holding’s share price up by more than 60 percent in the past 28 days. Its market capitalization skyrocketed from a valuation of N267.4 billion ($650.6 million) on Sept. 24 to N440 billion ($1.07 billion) as of the time of writing.

Recall that Billionaires.Africa previously reported that the billionaire acquired a significant stake in the leading Nigerian banking group on Oct. 22.

In reaction, in an earlier statement, FBNH disclosed that it had not received any notification from Otedola in line with the acquisition as mentioned in the news report.

The lender noted that it will notify the appropriate agencies and authorities whenever it receives any notice of significant shareholding from shareholders and the company’s registrars.

Otedola’s acquisition opens up fresh debate surrounding who holds the largest stake in the group, as experts believe that aside from Tunde Hassan-Odukale, who holds a 5.36-percent stake in the lender, Nigerian billionaire Mike Adenuga could be one of its largest shareholders.

Following his purchase of the stake, experts expect Otedola to bring fresh ideas that will drive forward the bank’s growth, as they believe the billionaire will take on a management role.

Otedola is known for his ability to innovate in disparate sectors after building and leading corporate juggernauts in the energy, shipping, real estate and finance industries.

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Led by Tunisian Ben Yedder family, Ennakl Automobiles posts $153 million in revenue in 9M 2021

Ennakl is a Tunisian auto retailer selling cars under the Volkswagen, Audi, Seat and Porsche brands.

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Ennakl Automobiles Chairman Abdellatif Hmam.

Tunisia-based automobile company Ennakl Automobiles has posted TND429.91 million ($152.9 million) in revenue in the first nine months of 2021, as the automobile company continues to benefit from strong growth in demand.

Ennakl Automobiles is a Tunisia-based automobile retailer engaged in the retail sale of cars under the Volkswagen, Audi, Seat and Porsche brands. The company is majority-owned by the affluent Ben Yedder family and operates under the management of Chairman Abdellatif Hmam.

In addition to its retail activities, the company engages in the importation and distribution of auto parts through its subsidiary, Car Gros, which enables it to offer after-sale services to customers.

Compared with its revenue of TND288 million ($102.4 million) in the first nine-month period of 2020, the company’s consolidated revenue in 2021 rose by 49.3 percent to TND429.9 million ($152.9 million).

The growth in revenue indicates a significant improvement in sales despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its operating environment, as the company was able to sell 6,393 vehicles in the first nine months of 2021, up 58.3 percent from the 4,039 units sold last year.

The management noted that the company’s excellent financial performance at the end of Q3 2021 consolidated its leading position among importers in the automotive sector, resulting in Ennaki seizing a 14.24-percent market share during the period under review.

In line with its commitment to create value for stakeholders and improve its market dominance in the automobile industry, Ennakl Automobiles signed a distribution contract with Renault Trucks on Sept. 7 to become its second non-exclusive importer on Tunisian territory.

Ennakl also invested TND2.3 billion ($817.8 million) in its operations, maintaining its budgeted investments, particularly with the extension of the SEAT brand showroom.

As of press time, Oct. 23, shares in the company were trading at TND12 ($4.30). This is 1.5-percent higher than its opening price this month.

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Paystack Co-Founder Ezra Olubi partners with group of investors to inject $1.7 million into Brass Banking startup

The Nigerian digital banking startup seeks to address the underserved banking needs of local entrepreneurs.

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Nigerian fintech tycoon Ezra Olubi.

Leading Nigerian tech founders have partnered with investors to raise $1.7 million in funding for Brass Banking, a Nigerian digital banking startup that seeks to address the underserved banking needs of local entrepreneurs across Sub-Saharan Africa.

Ezra Olubi, co-founder of Paystack, which was earlier acquired by Stripe, and Olugbenga “GB” Agboola, co-founder of Flutterwave, joined forces with Hustle Fund, Acuity Ventures, Uncovered Fund and Ventures Platform to raise the capital.

Brass Banking is a fintech startup that delivers easy access to affordable premium commercial-grade banking services for small- and medium-sized businesses. It helps create a current account for companies within 10 minutes, a service hardly obtainable with traditional banks.

The digital bank was founded by Sola Akindolu, former head of product at Kudi, and Emmanuel Okeke, former engineering manager at Paystack, in July 2020,

Brass will invest the funds in accelerating its expansion into South Africa and Kenya, Nairametrics reported.

Moreover, Brass plans to launch several new product categories, including an expansion of its credit-market presence as it seeks to broaden its customer base.

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