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Paratus Africa Group

Paratus Group secures funding for infrastructure expansion projects.

09 November 2023 – Paratus Group has secured funding of US$ 31 million to help realise its ambitious infrastructure expansion plans, the pan-African telco says the capital injection will significantly boost connectivity across key and currently underserved regions and contribute to the Group’s goal of doubling revenue within the next five years. The transaction was facilitated by Cirrus Capital, a 100% Namibian-owned, broad-scoped financial services company, which acted as the financial advisor for Paratus Group and lead arranger on the transaction.

The funding – from Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), a Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) and fund manager, Ninety One – will be used over the next three years to create additional fiber routes connecting Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Mozambique, Namibia,  South Africa and Zambia.

The investment will also be used to finance the completion of Paratus’s first Tier IV data center (DC) in Angola. The state-of-the-art 10MW facility will be the largest Paratus DC in Angola. It is designed to stimulate the digital economy, capitalise on the opportunities created by subsea cable systems in the region, and consolidate the Group’s strategy to create a regional hub in Angola. The facility will be Paratus’s fifth carrier-neutral DC in southern Africa and complements two other Tier-III (by design) DCs in Luanda, Angola.

Ninety One, a global asset manager, mobilised capital from two of its funds, EAIF and Ninety One Africa Credit Opportunities, to enhance last-mile connectivity and to introduce more reliable internet services across three sub-regions in Africa, including seven countries: Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia. The transaction will help strengthen the continent’s core digital infrastructure, which is fundamental to building more advanced economies in Africa.

Chief Executive Officer of Paratus Group, Schalk Erasmus says: “This investment is a testament to our focus to greatly enhance cross-border fiber connectivity and facilitate economic development in the region. It is good news for African businesses, entrepreneurs and consumers throughout the continent. It is also a great leap forward on our journey and mission to transform Africa through exceptional digital infrastructure and customer service.”

Chastin Bassingthwaighte, Corporate Finance Associate at Cirrus Capital says: “We conducted an extensive process to secure Paratus Group the best possible funding for their needs, specifically long-duration and cashflow friendly debt that supports their long-term infrastructure roll out across the continent. Through this process, we negotiated and completed this capital raising with Ninety-One, in part through their Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund. While a number of competitive proposals were received, the Ninety-One offering stood out in terms of suitability for Paratus’ specific requirements.”

This raising is the sixth capital raising we have done for the broader Paratus group, and the seventh transaction, since 2017. Capital raisings include equity raisings in Namibia and at Group level, a debt programme on the Namibian Stock Exchange, and now debt at Group level. “We are proud of our association with this inspiring team, and of the instrumental role that we have played in securing capital for the group. These capital raises have supported their growth and helped to derive broad stakeholder benefits for founders, investors, employees, service providers, and clients.  We thank Paratus for the continued trust placed in us.”

Commenting on the agreement, Investment Specialist at Ninety One, Sine Zulu said: “Building world-class digital infrastructure and facilitating fiber expansion is critical to unlocking the potential across Africa. The collaboration of Ninety One’s Africa Credit Opportunities and EAIF is a progressive partnership designed to deliver high-impact infrastructure projects and this funding will contribute to meeting the growing demand for connectivity and data in Africa.”

From left to right: Steven Loubser (Ninety One RSA), Chastin Bassingthwaighte (Cirrus Capital), Gert Duvenhage (Paratus Group), Puleng Pitso (Ninety One RSA), Schalk Erasmus (Paratus Group), Rolf Mendelsohn (Paratus Group), Barney Harmse (Paratus Group), Stefan de Bruin (Paratus Group), Steven Lovesay (Ninety One RSA), Immanuel Amupadhi (Ninety One Namibia).

-ENDS-

About Paratus

Paratus is Africa’s quality network.  With an eye on the future, the group is investing in infrastructure and establishing itself as a key player in delivering integrated network services across Africa. Paratus is managed by a passionate and professional operational team in seven African countries – Angola, Botswana, DRC, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zambia – and the business’s extended network provides a satellite connectivity-focused service in more than 35 African countries to a magnitude of customer satellite connections across Africa. This connects African businesses across the continent and delivers end-to-end service excellence. The group’s footprint extends beyond Africa to international (points of presence) PoPs in the UK, Europe, and the USA.

Born and bred in Africa, Paratus is thinking big as it grows its footprint to deliver Africa’s quality network.   By understanding the unique opportunities that Africa offers businesses and individuals to break boundaries and to connect without limits, Paratus is committed to raising the bar for providing quality connectivity in Africa.

About Cirrus

Cirrus is a broad-scoped Namibian financial services company, with a focus on corporate advisory, capital raising, stockbroking and research. The company is Namibia’s go-to for bespoke research and modelling, financial sector and macro-research, and listed company debt and equity trading. Since 2020, Cirrus has been the country’s dominant name in stockbroking, commanding the lion’s share of equity and debt trading on the Namibian Stock Exchange.

Further, the company has a strong track record in Namibia’s corporate finance space, having successfully completed multiple billion Namibia dollars’ worth of transactions and capital raisings. The company is driven by a group of young Namibians who are dedicated to the pragmatic development of the country. The team is a regular feature in the media and in boardrooms across the country, from corporates to parastatals to regulators to government offices, and has completed successful capital raisings and listings on the local stock exchange.

About EAIF

The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund provides a variety of debt products to infrastructure projects promoted mainly by private sector businesses in Africa and parts of the Levant. The Fund helps create the infrastructure framework that is essential to sustained economic stability, business confidence, job creation and poverty reduction. It has to date supported 96 closed infrastructure projects across nine sectors in over 20 African countries. At 31 December 2022 EAIF had a committed loan book portfolio of over US$1.15 billion. EAIF is part of PIDG. EAIF was established and substantially funded by the governments of the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Switzerland, and Sweden. It raises its debt capital from public and private sources, including Allianz, the global insurance and financial services company; Standard Chartered Bank; the African Development Bank; the German development finance institution, KFW and FMO, the Dutch development bank. EAIF is managed by Ninety One. www.eaif.com

About Ninety One Ninety One is an independent, active global asset manager listed on the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges. Established in South Africa in 1991, as Investec Asset Management, the firm was a pioneer in emerging markets in Africa. In 2020, almost three decades of organic growth later, the firm de-merged from Investec Group and became Ninety One. Today, Ninety One offers distinctive, active strategies across equities, fixed income, multi-asset and alternative investments to institutions, advisors and individual investors around the world. www.ninetyone.com

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