Vantage Capital (“Vantage”), Africa’s leading mezzanine debt provider, announced on Monday it has provided $10m of funding to Simba Properties Investment Company (“Simba Properties”), the property investment arm of Simba Group in Uganda which houses five prime property developments in Uganda, three of which are operating and two of which are under development.
The three operating properties, which are all located in the up market suburb of Kololo in Kampala, are:
-Protea Hotel Kampala: a four star, 70 bed luxury hotel which has been operational since 2007 and has won World Luxury Hotel Awards in 2010/11/12/13 and Africa Luxury Business Hotel Award in 2013 in Uganda
-CNOOC Building: a five storey office block which has been operational since end of 2011 and which is leased to blue chip companies operating in Uganda
-Elizabeth Royal Apartments: 30 high end apartments which Simba Group started leasing out from August 2013 and which are leased to foreign multinationals for use by their expatriates
The two properties under development are:
-Hotel Naguru: a four star, 140 bed luxury hotel on top of Naguru Hill (another prime location in Kampala) which is anticipated to be operational in Q4 2015
-Moyo Close Apartments: 14 high end apartments located in Kololo which are anticipated to be completed in Q1 2015
In addition to property, the Simba Group has business interests in telecom (Simba Telecom), energy (Electro-Maxx and True North Power), agriculture (Simba Farms), mining (gold) and other industries (such as Simba Electronics, Simba Travel Care and Zuku TV). Simba Group was started by the husband and wife team of Patrick and Carol Bitature in 1998 and has grown into one of the leading domestic investment groups in Uganda.
Patrick Bitature, the Founder and Chairman of Simba Group said, “Vantage brings an important and exciting new model of financing to the East African region. Simba Group is pleased to have found a strong mezzanine financing partner who provides medium-term growth capital but does not want to take our hard earned equity.”
Mokgome Mogoba, Associate Partner at Vantage, said “We are proud to have invested with the Simba Group, a leading and influential group of companies in Uganda with a strong commitment to the country and to the East African region.”
Warren van der Merwe, Chief Operating Officer at Vantage, added “Simba has managed to build an impressive and successful group of businesses, through a combination of entrepreneurial flair and highly professional management. Theirs is the kind of story that underpins our Pan African investment strategy of supporting mid-market family-owned businesses that are seeking to raise growth capital without having to dilute their shareholding. This is the kind of Group we would like to back in future transactions.”
The investment in Simba Properties follows Vantage’s pan-African strategy of focusing on high-growth African markets such as the East African Community members, Ghana, Nigeria, and some of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries.
Simba Properties is Vantage’s first investment in Uganda and the twelfth mezzanine transaction in Vantage’s second fund, which is now more than 85% invested. Vantage has commenced the raising of its third mezzanine fund, which is targeted to close by the first quarter of 2015 at $250 million.