Entrepreneurs Move From Debt To Equity

Published 7 years ago
Entrepreneurs Move  From Debt To Equity

The Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE) PLC was set to list on its own main board on July 12 after raising TZS10.1 billion ($4.6 million) in an IPO. It received bids totalling TZS35.8 billion, or 4.8 times oversubscription, for its TZS7.5 billion offer of 15 million shares at TZS500 each which closed on June 3. The DSE had a “green shoe” option to take up to 10% extra and applied to Tanzania’s Capital Markets and Securities Authority to boost this to 35% with the result that it was able to take an additional TZS2.6 billion. Staff took up their full allocation of 3% of the shares.

The Tanzanian bourse is set for a boost in activity after telecoms firms were ordered to list up to 25% of their shares within six months from July 1, in terms of the government’s Finance Bill 2016 and an amended Electronic and Postal Communications Act in June. DSE CEO, Moremi Marwa, said there would be enough liquidity: “The combined 25% of all telecommunications companies’ balance sheets is about $1 billion… Our current market capitalization is TZS22 trillion and annual market turnover is exceeding TZS750 billion. Treasury bonds and bills issued per annum at DSE normally exceeds TZS2.5 trillion and they are normally oversubscribed, meaning there is more liquidity to invest in less risky assets than instruments available.”

The DSE plans to use IPO proceeds to enhance its core operating system, introduce new products and services and for “strategic and operational purposes”. One in two Tanzanians have learned to use mobile financial services, according to a FinScope survey, and investors can use phones to apply for some DSE share offers.


In May, the Botswana Stock Exchange issued a tender for its valuation as it becomes demutualized, for-profit company, BSE Ltd, and works out how to convert the proprietary rights owned by stockbrokers and its government subvention. The Casablanca Stock Exchange is also demutualizing and mulling an IPO – its shareholders include banks 39%, brokers 20% and the Caisse de dépôt et de gestion (CDG) 25%. Johannesburg and Nairobi were Africa’s first securities exchanges to complete the steps through demutualization, IPO and self-listing.

Enko Capital runs the $83-million Enko Africa Private Equity Fund, which focuses on pre-IPO investments, and says Kenyan IT company, The Copy Cat, which operates in four East African countries, and Nigerian interior design company DO.II Designs are considering IPOs. Nigeria’s government is working on privatization of eight state-owned companies: Port Harcourt Refining Company, Peugeot Automobile Nigeria, Nigerian Ports Authority, Nigerian Telecommunications, Nigerian Railway Corporation, Bank of Agriculture, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria and the Bank of Industry.

Innscor Africa Holdings spun off and listed Axia Corporation on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) in May. Axia has three operating subsidiaries – logistics and warehousing Distribution Group Africa, furniture and appliance retailer TV Sales & Home, and auto spares retailer Transerv – and $40.6 million market capitalization. Innscor’s previous unbundlings and listings were Simbisa Brands in November and Padenga Holdings in 2010 as the conglomerate focuses on light manufacturing. It was the ZSE’s second listing in 2016 after GetBucks in January.

West African utility group, Eranove, postponed its IPO and listing on the Paris-based Euronext exchange. Its owners include private equity firm Emerging Capital Partners (56%) and insurer AXA (19%) and its four core subsidiaries which supply water and generate and distribute power in Côte d’Ivoire, and distribute water in Senegal.


Miguel Azevedo, Citigroup’s Head of Investment Banking Africa, says the IPO drive will continue in 2017 as capital-raising moves from debt to equity. Bond sales have been hit by rising yields and declining local currencies.

“Sometimes entrepreneurs, all they want is debt, no equity, just debt. This crisis showed them that this can be very expensive. It makes sense to bring in some more equity,” says Azevedo.

His tips for exciting industries include consumer goods, banking, power and infrastructure.

“I see the growth profile of the continent, and in the blocs, is still there. The opportunity in Africa is still there.”


He forecast that multinationals expanding in Africa would aim to take significant positions in companies, rather than outright purchases.

“The base case is buying around 50% with an agreement to buy the remainder.”

Private equity will remain very active and there could be more consolidation among leading firms.