Egypt secures US$170M from AFD to support energy sector development

EGYPT – The government of Egypt has secured a total of US$170 million in funding and grants from the French Development Agency (AFD) to support development of the energy sector in the country. Africa Energy Portal reported that the AFD funds were provided under the Energy Sector Budget Support Programme in Egypt. “This is a major step in AFD’s commitment to support Egypt in its transition to a sustainable and efficient energy system,” said Fabio Grazi, AFD’s Director for Egypt. Rania al-Mashat, Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation, explained that the…

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AfDB invests US$13.4m in Yeelen to boost financial inclusion in West Africa

Ethiopia secures US$165M in grant funds from AfDB to bolster COVID-19 emergency response efforts

WEST AFRICA – The African Development Bank (AfDB) has agreed to invest £12 million euros (US$13.37m) in the capital of the Yeelen fund to enable it expand its capacity to support West Africa’s financial sector. Yeelen Financial Fund LP is a 12-year investment fund domiciled in Mauritius and Lomé. It aims to a achieve a capitalization of 65 million euros (US$72.44m) in order to invest in the financial institutions of the eight countries of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA). The WAEMU region is made up of Eight…

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Aon to buys Willis for $30 billion, set to become world’s largest insurance broker

UNITED KINGDOM – Aon Plc has it would buy Willis Towers Watson Plc for nearly US$30 billion, in an all-stock deal. Reuters reported that the deal will make Aon the world’s biggest insurance broker and give it more pricing power, but also attract regulatory scrutiny. The acquisition, the largest ever in insurance sector, unifies the second and third largest brokers globally into a company worth almost US$80 billion, overtaking market leader Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc. The deal comes at a time when insurers are facing rising claims and new…

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Kunlum agrees to sell popular social app Grindr for US$608m

CHINA – Chinese gaming company Beijing Kunlun Tech Co Ltd has said that it has agreed to sell Grindr LLC, a popular gay dating app it acquired in 2016, to San Vicente Acquisition LLC for about $608.5 million. Based in West Hollywood, California, Grindr has over 4.5 million daily active users, and describes itself as the world’s largest social networking app for gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. The app, originally developed in Los Angeles, raised national security concerns after it was acquired by Beijing Kunlun in 2016 for $93…

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Tangerine Life acquires majority stake in ARM Life

NIGERIA – Tangerine Life Insurance Limited (formerly known as Metropolitan Life Insurance Nigeria Limited) has acquired a majority stake in ARM Life Insurance Plc. A statement from the insurance firm said the acquisition, which took effect in March, placed Tangerine Life as one of the largest life insurance providers in Nigeria. ARM stated that the aim of the acquisition was to combine the strengths of the two industry doyens so as to present strong opportunities for value creation in the insurance industry. Speaking on the acquisition, the Managing Director, Tangerine…

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Advent, Cinven, RAG consortium to buy Thyssenkrupp elevator unit for US$18.7bn

GERMANY – Thyssenkrupp AG has agreed to sell its elevators division to a consortium of Advent, Cinven and Germany’s RAG foundation for 17.2 billion euros (US$18.7 billion) in what could be the world’s largest buyout this year. The bidding group prevailed against a rival consortium comprising Blackstone Group Inc, Carlyle Group Inc and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, which sources said submitted a lower offer. The deal, which is believed to be Europe’s biggest buyout since 2007, values the division at roughly 18 times core earnings and is expected…

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Actis, Westmont joint venture acquires Sheraton Casablanca Hotel

MOROCCO – Actis and Westmont Hospitality Group (“Westmont”) have acquired the 309-key Sheraton Casablanca hotel, Morocco. According to a statement by Actis, the Sheraton Casablanca hotel offers a unique opportunity to acquire the largest internationally branded hotel in Casablanca. The hotel was built in 1989 and is well-located in the heart of Casablanca near the Old Medina and harbour. “Actis and Westmont acquiring the landmark Sheraton Casablanca and investing to make the Sheraton once again the first choice for business travellers and meeting hosts in Morocco is a logical addition…

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French locomotive giant, Alstom to buy Bombardier rail unit for up to US$6.7 bn

FRANCE – Alstom SA, a French multinational company with interests in the locomotive industry, has agreed to buy the rail division of Canada’s Bombardier Inc for up to 6.2 billion euros ($6.7 billion). The agreement between Alstom and Bombardier would unite companies with an estimated $17 billion in combined revenue. Reuters reports that the acquisition will create the world’s No. 2 train manufacturer and better position the European company to take on Chinese leader CRRC Corp. The French firm said the two were complementary geographically, adding Bombardier’s European footprint was…

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Finland’s Kone loses bid to buy Thyssenkrupp’s elevator unit

GERMANY – Thyssenkrupp has announced that it has shortlisted two private equity consortia in the sale of its 16 billion-euro ($17 billion) elevator unit, dealing a blow to Finland’s Kone, which withdrew from the closely watched deal. The transaction which is potentially Europe’s biggest private-equity deal in 13 years, is now in its last stages and could come to a head when Thyssenkrupp’s supervisory board is scheduled to meet, according to a Reuters report. The cash-strapped conglomerate said it would focus on negotiations with two private equity consortia: one consisting…

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Vodafone-TPG US$10bn merger receives approval from Australian court

AUSTRALIA – An Australian court has approved a A$15 billion (US$10.1 billion) merger between a unit of Britain’s Vodafone Group and internet provider TPG Telecom. The ruling is a reprieve for the two companies whose plan to merger had been rejected by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC). In giving its verdict, the ACC had argued that a tie-up between Vodafone’s joint venture with local telco Hutchison Telecommunications (Australia) Ltd and TPG would harm competition.     The ruling revives a plan to challenge the dominance of Telstra Corp Ltd…

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