Vantage Capital, one of Africa’s largest mezzanine fund manager, has announced that it provided €19 million of 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, with over 1.7 million gas bottles in circulation. It also holds a 40 per cent 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 represented 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.