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2023 DealMakers AFRICA Annual Awards
Lagos, Nigeria | 15 March 2024

Diamond Sponsor

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Gold Sponsor


Individual DealMaker of the Year
West Africa Sponsor


Strategic Partner

Our sincere and heartfelt thanks to all our guests for joining us for the first DealMakers AFRICA Annual Awards held in West Africa. It was wonderful to meet you all.

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Deal of the Year 2023 | West Africa

Investment by Verod Capital and DPI into Pan African Towers

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The investment into Pan African Towers (PAT) announced in November 2023 by consortium Verod Capital and Development Partners International provides the opportunity to support the transformation, not only of Nigeria, but also Africa’s business landscape while at the same time providing sustainable returns to PAT’s shareholders. 

PAT offers a comprehensive suite of telecommunications infrastructure and wireless services. Following the investment, and significant value creation efforts, PAT’s critical cash flow and return metrics are expected to improve significantly. More broadly, the impact of the investment will be to accelerate the development of the local industry, contributing to job creation, market share expansion and enhanced organisational performance and subsequent growth in revenue. 

Advisers: Chapel Hill Denham, Exotix Advisory, Banwo & Ighodalo, Olaniwun Ajayi, G Elias, Charles Russell Speechlys

Other Shortlisted Nominees (in no particular order):

Acquisition by STAC Marine Offshore of Abo FPSO vessel
STAC Marine Offshore, a newly incorporated Special Purpose Vehicle owned by Sea Transport Services Nigeria, agreed to purchase the Abo Floating Production Storage Offloading (FPSO) vessel for US$20 million from Norwegian FPSO leasing company BW Offshore. 

Initiated in 2022, the deal signifies a transformative move for Sea Transport and the Nigerian maritime sector at large. For Sea Transport, which commenced operations in 2008, the deal positions it as a key player in the offshore oil and gas industry, aligning with its strategic aim to expand its operational footprint and enhance its service offerings. 

Advisers: Stanbic IBTC Capital, Bloomfield LP

Acquisition of a majority stake in iSON Xperiences by Verod Capital and AfricInvest
In October 2023, Verod Capital and AfricInvest announced they would partner to acquire a majority stake in iSON Xperiences (iSON), a leading ICT solutions provider. The investment was structured from the Verod Capital Growth Fund III and AfricInvest Fund III and IV. For AfricInvest, the investment represented a renewing of its commitment, having first invested in iSON in 2018.

The new capital injection will empower iSON to provide training of new graduates, market expansion both in Africa and offshore which will provide the ability to earn hard currency and to diversify its service offerings. 

Advisers: Eversheds Sutherland South Africa, Dentons UK

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Private Equity Deal of the Year 2023 | West Africa

Exit by Enko Capital of a majority stake in Netis Group

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Enko Capital Managers successfully exited its stake in the Netis Group (Netis) to a consortium jointly led by two pan-African equity fund Managers Amethis and AfricInvest, alongside two leading development finance institutions, Proparco and IFC. The majority stake was acquired through a Mauritius-based investment vehicle.

The new investment will launch another growth phase for Netis with growth potential identified in the penetration of untapped countries and the deployment of additional business streams in current countries of operation. The transaction involved a fresh capital and debt raise, the establishment of specific investment vehicles and the implementation of an earn-out mechanism. 

Advisers: Enexus Finance, Lincoln International, Asafa & Co, Bowmans, Norton Rose Fulbright, CMS Francis Lefebvre Avocats, Deloitte, Eight Advisory

Other Shortlisted Nominees (in no particular order):

Affirma Capital’s exit of GZ Industries to Oppenheimer Partners
Affirma Capital exited its 37.5% stake in GZ Industries (GZI) in December 2023. The stake was sold to majority shareholder Oppenheimer Partners. Prior to the acquisition of the stake Oppenheimer Partners held a majority 62.5% stake. 

GZI has transitioned from an owner-managed business to a market leading business operating three manufacturing facilities – two in Nigeria and one in South Africa with a production capacity of three billion cans per annum and employing c.1,000 people. Oppenheimer Partners will continue to shape the growth strategy for GZI, expanding its export market reach and establishing it as a leading regional beverage can manufacturer.

Advisers: Rand Merchant Bank Nigeria

Exit by MBO Capital Management of its stake in Radix Pension Managers to CardinalStone Partners

MBO Capital Management Limited divested of its entire 80% equity stake in pension fund administrator Radix Pension Managers (Radix) to CardinalStone Partners in November 2023.  

Radix, a licensed Pension Fund Administrator, received a ₦4 billion capital investment by MBO Capital Management in 2022. This repositioned the company as a key player within the Nigeria Pension Industry. The investment by CardinalStone Partners, the size of which remains unreported, will in this next growth phase enable Radix to become a top-tier pension fund administrator in Nigeria.

Advisers: Renaissance Capital, Banwo & Ighodalo, Detail Commercial Solicitors

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New Award | Individual DealMaker of the Year | West Africa

This is the first year that we awarded the Individual DealMaker of the Year. 

The award was made to an individual judged by her peers and the Independent Panel,
to have provided exemplary and outstanding service.

This award is region specific and will be awarded based on where the awards event is being held - 2023 will be for an individual in West Africa. When the awards are hosted in Kenya, the award will be for an individual in East Africa etc etc

Ayodele Adeyemi-Faboya (Banwo & Ighodalo)

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Ayodele Adeyemi-Faboya

Ayodele Adeyemi-Faboya, a Partner at Banwo & Ighodalo, joined the firm in 2011 in its Corporate, Securities & Finance Practice. She has extensive experience covering Corporate Commercial law, Corporate Governance and Regulatory Compliance, Mergers and Acquisitions, Project Finance Development, and Funds. She has led several high-profile deals, including Norfund’s investment by way of a convertible loan in FTN Cocoa Processors and co-led the team on the acquisition of MainOne by Equinix, which won the Deal of the Year (West Africa) 2021. That same year Ayodele co-led the team that advised Cardinal Actis and the Faiz Moukarim Family in the divestment of their shareholding interest in Mouka (Private Equity Deal of the Year in 2021). 

Other Shortlisted Nominees (in alphabetical order):

Chuma Ajene (Access Bank)

Having joined Access Bank in 2020, Chuma Ajene is currently co-CEO and Head of Strategic Investments and Funding. Recently, Chuma has led negotiations and the project management on the US$280 million funding from DFC to Access Bank; Afreximbank’s $300 million facility granted to Access Bank; the $75 million facility from JICA; and a $60 million facility from BII. In 2022, he led Access Bank’s acquisition of a 51% stake in Finbanco Angola Montepio Holding SGPS SA, giving the Nigerian financial institution access to the $300 million asset and over 20 branches. And in 2023, he led the acquisition by Access Bank of selected Standard Chartered Bank assets in five sub-Saharan countries.


Chuma Ajene


Clément Marchand (Enexus)

Clément Marchand has been the West Africa partner at Enexus since 2018. During 2023, he led the equity fundraise of Trigger’s Reports with Eurofind, the sale of Touton’s palm oil activities in Côte d’Ivoire to Palmci and the sale of Castel’s water activities in Côte d’Ivoire to the Carré d’Or Group. Over the past three years, Clément has led several major transactions, namely the sale of SOGEDI, the sale of PAMCI, and the equity fundraising for IDC, a drilling company operating in five countries in West Africa. He also led the equity fundraising for Groupe Sahel, a wheat milling group operating in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, resulting in a majority stake held by Forafric.

Clément Marchand

Gbolahan Elias (G. Elias)

Professor Gbolahan Elias, a partner at G. Elias, has widespread knowledge in Banking & Finance, Energy & Natural Resources, Corporate & Commercial work for both private and public sector clients, Litigation, Arbitration and Dispute Resolution, and Project Finance. During 2023, He worked on two notable deals; he led the team advising on the buyout of shareholders of Union Bank of Nigeria Plc by Titan Trust Bank, and the divesture of control by the founders of Mafab Communications to investors led by the Critical Infrastructure Investment Fund. Other significant deals he has worked on include, among others, a ₦3 trillion bond offering by AMCON, the seminal spin-off of UBA Plc’s non-bank assets and Nigeria’s pioneering Eurobond for First Bank.


Gbolahan Elias

Tolulope Alafe (Stanbic IBTC)

Vice President of Stanbic IBTC Capital’s Investment Banking team, Tolulope Alafe joined Stanbic IBTC in 2015. She has extensive experience in strategic private and public acquisitions, capital raises, divestitures, takeovers and corporate restructurings across a range of sectors. During 2023, Tolulope led on the buyout of the minority shareholders of Coronation Insurance Plc, and the Nigeria Breweries Plc’s acquisition of Distell Nigeria’s operations from Heineken Beverages. Over the past three years, she advised on the sale of MainOne to Equinix (Deal of the Year West Africa 2021), on the merger of BUA Foods businesses into a single entity, Ardova’s acquisition of Enyo Retail and Supply and the buyout of Allianz Nigeria by Allianz S.E.


Tolulope Alafe


DealMakers AFRICA awards the top three advisers by Value and Flow in the following categories:

  • Investment Advisers

  • Legal Advisers

Awards are made to the top three M&A teams and the top three teams for work carried out in the General Corporate Finance space. 

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Deal of the Year 2023 | East Africa

Disposal of James Finlay (Kenya) to Browns Investments and Kipsigis Highlands

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A leading grower, manufacturer and supplier of Kenyan tea, James Finlay (Kenya) will be acquired by B Commodities ME, a subsidiary of Browns Investments (85%), a strategic investment arm of Sri Lanka’s LOLC Holdings and Kipsigis Highlands Multipurpose Cooperative Society (15%) representing the local community. In 2021, Browns acquired Finlay’s Sri Lankan tea estate business. 

Scottish company James Finaly has, for 123 years, been operating the tea plantation which covers a total self-contained area of 10,300 hectares, including 5,2000 hectares of tea fields over nine tea estates. The deal is Browns’ first investment in the Kenyan tea industry.

Advisers: Bowmans, Addleshaw Goddard

Other Shortlisted Nominees (in no particular order):

East Africa Device Assembly Kenya Joint Venture

East Africa Device Assembly Kenya (Eadak), a project to set up Kenya’s first electronics device assembly plant, is a joint venture between local telecommunications operators Safaricom, Jamii Telecommunications, TeleOne Technology and Industrial Technology Training Company. 
The factory is projected to generate up to 500 direct jobs and so contribute to the country’s economic growth. The consortium put together by the government is part of its digitisation pr
ogramme to actualise its undertaking to manufacture affordable smartphones and revolutionise the country’s digital economy.

Advisers: ENS, PwC

Disposal by Bamburi Cement and Cementia of Hima Cement (Uganda) 

Ugandan conglomerate Sarrai Group, and Rwimi Holdings are to acquire Bamburi Cement's 70% stake in the Ugandan and Rwandan operations, with the remaining 30% being acquired from Cementia Holding (also part of the Holcim Group) in a deal valued at US$120 million. Bamburi will focus on its operations in Kenya.

Hima Cement has three plants in Uganda and distributes cement in Rwanda through a subsidiary. Originally state-owned, Uganda Cement Industries was privatised in 1994. In 1999, Hima was acquired by France’s Lafarge, which merged with Holcim in 2015. Holcim and Bamburi Cement believe that this deal will ensure a prosperous and profitable future for Hima Cement.

Advisers: Bowmans, RSM (Eastern Africa) Consulting

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Private Equity Deal of the Year 2023 | East Africa

Ascent Capital Africa’s exit of its stake in Guardian Health

Ascent Capital Africa, through its Ascent Rift Valley Fund (ARVF), has exited its six-year investment in Ugandan pharmacy Guardian Health, selling it to Kenya-based pharmacy and personal care e-commerce company MYDAWA. Guardian Health founder and CEO also disposed of his stake giving MYDAWA full control of the retail pharmacy chain. 

Guardian Health commenced operations in 2012 and has scaled from a footprint of five stores to a chain of 19 stores in six districts. The deal will benefit both Guardian Health and MYDAWA as they leverage their synergies and capabilities with Guardian Health expected to receive a boost to its largely underdeveloped online and telemedicine service. Digital healthcare in Africa is seen as one of the sectors with the potential for great growth in the coming years.

Advisers: I&M Burbidge Capital, Clyde & Co, Bowmans

Other Shortlisted Nominees (in no particular order):

Exit by Maris and Nvision of a majority stake in Equator Energy to IBL Energy and STOA 

In February 2023, Maris, an African-focused investment company, and Nvision, an African-focused solar company, announced the exit of a majority stake Equator Energy to a consortium comprising IBL Energy and STOA.

Equator Energy, launched in 2016 provides fully integrated renewable energy systems, offering solutions ranging from simple grid-tied systems to solar-diesel hybrid systems to fully autonomous off-grid systems. Since inception, Equator Energy has exhibited strong and sustained growth with its portfolio presently standing at 35 MW of solar plants in operation with 17 MW in procurement. The new shareholders will lead Equator Energy through its next phase of growth – with Equator Energy leveraging off their experience and capacity positioning it to reach new heights and markets, cementing its leading position in the C&I solar sector in Africa. 

Advisers: DAI Magister, Bowmans

Exit by Finnfund of its stake in Lake Turkana Wind Power to BlackRock

In March 2023 Finnish development financier and impact investor announced the exit of its stake in Lake Turkana Wind Power (LTWP) in Kenya. Also exiting the LTWP are investors Danish turbine manufacturer Vesta and Danish Climate Investment Fund managed by IFU. BlackRock will acquire the 31.25% stake through Climate Finance Partnership, a public-private finance vehicle and blended finance investment fund for greenhouse gas mitigation projects in emerging and developing countries. 

The Lake Turkana wind farm comprises 365 wind turbines, each with a capacity of 850 kilowatts, translating into a wind power facility with a 310 MW capacity which currently meets c. 14% of Kenya’s electricity demand serving 1,2 million homes. The LTWP project provides reliable, low-cost energy to Kenya's national grid via a 20-year power purchase agreement with Kenya Power.

Advisers: Kaplan & Stratton, Anjarwalla & Khanna, Clifford Chance


DealMakers AFRICA awards the top three advisers by Value and Flow in the following categories:

  • Investment Advisers

  • Legal Advisers

Awards are made to the top three M&A teams and the top three teams for work carried out in the General Corporate Finance space. 

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