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Vantage Capital provides a €19 million mezzanine facility to Pétro Ivoire in the first-ever leveraged management buyout in Francophone West Africa

Vantage Capital provides a €19 million mezzanine facility to Pétro Ivoire in the first-ever leveraged management buyout in Francophone West Africa

Vantage Capital (www.VantageCapital.co.za), Africa’s largest mezzanine fund manager, announced today that it has provided €19 million of mezzanine funding to Pétro Ivoire, a leading distributor of oil & gas products in Côte d’Ivoire. The company operates a network of 72 petrol stations across the country (3rd placed after Total and Vivo Energy) and is also the largest gas distributor, with over 1.7 million gas bottles in circulation. It also holds a 40% stake in Côte d’Ivoire’s largest gas storage and bottle filling facility, SAEPP. The company sold 230 million litres of petroleum products in 2017.

Vantage’s funding has enabled the founding family 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. Founded in 1994 by Mathieu Kadio-Morokro, the company is now run by his son, Sébastien Kadio-Morokro, who was recently selected as one of the top ten Young Global Leaders in sub-Saharan Africa by the World Economic Forum. The exit of the private equity investors has made room for a French-based gas trading company, Geogas Entreprise 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 $138 million 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.”

David Kornik, Partner at Vantage Capital, added that “Pétro Ivoire is run by an experienced and deeply talented management team. They have successfully established the business amongst the leading players in Côte d’Ivoire’s downstream oil & gas sector and we look forward to partnering with them through the company’s next phase of growth.”

Warren van der Merwe, Managing Partner at Vantage Capital, said that “we are delighted to conclude our first transaction in Francophone Africa. We believe Pétro Ivoire to be a gem. After being backed by several private equity funds over the past decade, the founding family has now been able regain control of their business. The new strategic alliance with Geogas Entreprise SAS, a major gas trading company, bodes well for the future of Pétro Ivoire.”

Sébastien Kadio-Morokro added, “Our vision is to be one of the largest African oil & gas distribution companies. With Vantage Capital as our financial partner, we intend to entrench our position as the leading company in this sector in Cote d’Ivoire and begin to expand regionally.”

Jean-Thomas Lopez, Portfolio Manager at Amethis, said "Amethis is proud to have supported the founding family for the last five years, creating value together by doubling the size of the network - which included the acquisition of the Essenci network in 2014- as well as significantly enhancing access to gas by Ivorian families. This has helped slow down deforestation through the reduction in the use of fire-wood."

Clifford Chance (in Morocco) and Cabinet Chauveau (in Côte d’Ivoire) acted as legal counsel to Vantage. Carlara International (France), CMS Francis Lefebvre (France) and Emire Partners (Côte d’Ivoire) respectively acted as legal counsel to Geogas Entreprise SAS, Amethis & West Africa Emerging Markets Growth Fund and Pétro Ivoire. Dentons (in Morocco) provided tax advice, KPMG (in France) and Ernst & Young (in Côte d’Ivoire) were the financial advisors, OnPoint Africa (in Côte d’Ivoire) provided commercial advice, Marsh (in France) provided insurance advice and Ibis Consulting (in South Africa) reviewed the environmental impact. 

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Vantage Capital Group.
Media Contact:
Luc Albinski
Managing Partner
lalbinski@vantagecapital.co.za
Tel: +27 11 530 9104

David Kornik
Partner
david@vantagemezzanine.com
Tel:  +27 21 418 1130

Driss Benabdeslam
Senior Associate
driss@vantagemezzanine.com
Tel:  +27 11 530 9115

About Vantage Capital:
Vantage Capital Group (www.VantageCapital.co.za) was established in 2001 and is the largest independent pan-African mezzanine debt fund manager on the African continent. It currently manages assets of US$ 960 million in five distinct mezzanine and renewable energy debt funds and has to date made 41 investments across the African continent. 

Vantage has offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town and targets mezzanine debt opportunities of US$ 5 - 25m across more than a dozen key African markets. Mezzanine debt is an intermediate form of risk capital, which is situated between senior debt, the least risky tranche of the capital structure, and equity, the most risky. It combines elements of both debt and equity thereby providing companies with long-term funding on terms which are less dilutive to shareholders than pure equity.

Website: www.VantageCapital.co.za 

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