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Namibia: Capricorn Investment Group acquires 30% stake in Paratus Africa

Namibia: Capricorn Investment Group acquires 30% stake in Paratus Africa

Capricorn Investment Group (CIG), owners of Bank Windhoek in Namibia, now holds a 30% stake in pan-African telecoms group Paratus Africa Group (PAG) in a transaction valued at US$17-million (N$252 million).

CIG issued a statement confirming the deal: "The group acquired a 30% stake in Paratus by acquiring existing shares in Paratus for US$2 million (N$30 million), and subscribing to new shares of US$14,5 million (N$221 million)."

The investment was announced alongside CIG's 2019 reviewed financial statements revealing after-tax profit of N$1,015 billion.

The investment in PAG is expected to broaden CIG's reach into key sectors including banking, micro-finance, insurance, asset management and telecommunications.

The company's investment portfolio now incorporates 15 companies.

Experts see the deal potentially reducing the dominance of Bank Windhoek in revenues for CIG. Bank Windhoek contributes more than 90% of the total income of CIG and represents more than 89% of the group's net asset value.

Paratus Namibia is engaged in capital-intensive projects that require more funding.

In August 2019, ITWeb Africa reported the company raised N$50-million from Nimbus Infrastructure Limited which subscribed for 24 398 ordinary shares of Paratus Namibia.

Paratus Namibia said the fund will enable to continue its aggressive investment in telecommunications infrastructure, including fibre and 4G LTE.

Paratus Africa chief executive officer Barney Harmse said the company continues to show a strong growth profile, despite the challenging economic environment in Namibia.

In March 2019, ITWeb Africa also reported that Paratus Group invested US$14-million on the Trans-Kalahari fibre project that connects Zambia to the undersea cable in Namibia.

A cross section of CIG's shareholders described the company's latest venture as a welcome development that will further expand the group's dominance while also raising the value of its shares.

The deal is also expected to inject investments into the telecoms sector in Namibia to upgrade the network, expand access and stimulate competition among players.