Pétro Ivoire secures US$22mn mezzanine funding

ST PIERRE NIANGON 2.JPGVantage Capital provides a US$22mn mezzanine facility to Pétro Ivoire in the first-ever leveraged management buyout in Francophone West Africa. (Image source: Vantage Capital Group)Vantage Capital, Africa’s mezzanine fund manager, has announced that it has provided US$22mn of mezzanine funding to Pétro Ivoire, a distributor of oil and gas products in Côte d’Ivoire

Vantage’s funding has enabled the founding family, Kadio-Morokro, to regain a controlling equity stake in the company by facilitating the buy-back of equity from two exiting private equity investors, Amethis and the West Africa Emerging Markets Growth Fund.

The exit of the private equity investors has made room for a French-based gas trading company, Geogas Enterprise SAS, to take a stake in the business alongside the founding family.

This transaction represents Vantage Capital’s 27th mezzanine transaction across three generations of mezzanine funds, with its portfolio of mezzanine investments now spread across nine countries in Africa. Outside of South Africa, Vantage has now invested in ten transactions for a total of US$138mn across Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Mauritius, Namibia and Botswana.

Pétro Ivoire is Vantage’s first investment in Francophone Africa and the mezzanine fund manager is currently pursuing several opportunities in Morocco, hoping to announce its first deal in that country in 2019.

Luc Albinski, managing partner at Vantage Capital, explained that “Vantage is proud to have structured the first-ever leveraged management buyout in Francophone West Africa. Vantage’s mezzanine product provided the ideal solution to Pétro Ivoire’s shareholders: enabling the private equity investors to achieve a successful exit and the founding family to acquire a controlling stake in their business without having to write out a big equity cheque.”

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