Public Investment Co. to invest $250m in Ecobank
The Public Investment Corporation (PIC), on behalf of Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF), is pleased to announce that it will invest $250million (about R1.7billion) in the common equity of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, the parent company of the Ecobank Group, the leading independent pan-African banking group with a presence in 32 African countries.
This investment will represent the PIC’s first major direct investment outside of South Africa and is in line with GEPF’s investment strategy that has identified Africa (excluding South Africa) as the next frontier for investment growth.
To this end, GEPF has allocated 5% of it’s nearly R1trillion of assets under management to be invested in the rest of the continent. “Our continent is ripe for investment”, says John Oliphant, GEPF’s head of investments and actuarial. “With over one billion people and a rapidly growing middle class, Africa, in tandem with the rest of the developing world, presents exciting investment opportunities for investors looking for good returns. With an almost stagnant growth recorded in developed economies, Africa has strongly emerged as the next frontier for investment growth,” he says.
The transaction will bolster Ecobank’s tier one capital and further enhance its ability to grow its business across the African continent. The $250 million share purchase will be affected by the issuance of 3,125,000,000 shares in Ecobank representing 19.58% of the total outstanding number of shares. Following this investment, the PIC is expected to take a seat on the board of Ecobank.
Commenting on the transaction, Mr. Arnold Ekpe, Group Chief Executive Officer of the Ecobank Group, stated that “we look forward to welcoming the GEPF as a shareholder. Along with our existing shareholders, we will now have a slate of highly reputable local, regional and international shareholders and our equity capital raising programme is coming to an end. Our unparalleled presence across sub-Saharan Africa and our knowledge of local markets will also facilitate the GEPF’s investment plans for Africa.”
Chief Executive Officer of PIC, Elias Masilela said: “We are excited about the proposed investmentwe will make in Ecobank. We strongly believe that this is a significant step that will complement the Africa strategy of our major client, GEPF, which seeks to take advantage of private equity opportunities on the continent. With this one investment we will be immediately optimising our footprint on the rest of the continent, an action that would otherwise require multiple investments and huge effort as well as resource allocation.”
Incorporated in Lome, Togo, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) is the parent company of the leading independent pan-African banking group. It currently has a presence in 32 African countries, namely: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo (Brazzaville), Congo (Democratic Republic), Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
The Group is also represented in France through its affiliate EBI S.A. in Paris. ETI also has representative office in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and London, UK. ETI is listed on the stock exchanges in Lagos, Accra and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) – the BRVM in Abidjan. The Group is owned by more than 585,000 local and international institutional and individual shareholders. The Group has 23,355 employees from 35 different countries and 1,151 branches and offices.
Ecobank is a full-service bank providing wholesale, retail, investment and transaction banking services and products to governments, financial institutions, multinationals, international organizations, medium, small and micro businesses and individuals.
The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) is a public asset management firm wholly owned by the South African government, with the Minister of Finance as the sole shareholder representative of the government.
PIC clients are mostly public sector entities including the Government Employees Pension Fund, which contribute 90% of the funds that PIC manages. Other clients include Unemployment Insurance Fund, Associated Institutions Pension Fund, Compensation Commissioner Pension Fund and Compensation Commissioner Fund.
The PIC owns shares in listed companies and currently controls over 10% of the Johannesburg Securities Exchange. The PIC is a hybrid of a single asset manager and a multi-manager with emphasis on providing its clients with value at a low cost and invests in established names with strong management requiring little oversight.
PIC is a world class asset management company, and it boasts a 100-year reputation of delivering excellent results. It is the largest and most successful asset manager on the African continent with assets under management in excess of $150 billion.