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Corporate deals

Access Bank completes acquisition of Zambian Cavmont Bank Ltd

Access Bank has completed the acquisition of Zambian Cavmont Bank Ltd, in a bid to strengthen its operational base in the continent.

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Access Bank Plc has announced that its Zambian subsidiary (Access Bank, Zambia) has completed the acquisition of Cavmont Bank Limited, following the fulfilment of pre-requisite conditions, including regulatory approvals.

The tier-1 bank made the disclosure through a press statement signed by the Bank’s secretary, Sunday Ekwochi and sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, as seen by Nairametrics.

Nairametrics had earlier reported that Access Bank had reached a definitive agreement with Cavmount Capital Holdings Zambia Plc (CCHZ) to acquire Cavmount Bank Ltd, in a bid to diversify and expand its operational base in the continent.

In a recent development, the financial giant through a press statement released today stated that the merger between the aforementioned firms is set to take place before the end of January 2021.

What this means: The deal is a highly complementary transaction that is expected to combine Access Bank Zambia’s wholesale and trade finance capabilities with Cavmont Bank’s retail and commercial banking operations.

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In addition, the deal has the potentials to enlarge Access Bank Zambia as a stronger and well-capitalized banking franchise with improved scale and capacity to deliver sustainable and best-in-class financial services in the Zambian market.

What you should know:

  • As part of the terms and conditions of the deal, Nairametrics learnt that Access Bank Zambia will acquire the entire issued ordinary share capital, assets and liabilities of Cavmont Bank while Capricom Group Limited, the ultimate majority shareholder of CCHZ will invest at least ZMW300 million ($16.5 million) of preference shares into Access Bank Zambia. Capricorn will hold preference shares in the enlarged Access Bank Zambia for a period of five years, after which the preference shares will be acquired by Access Bank Plc.
  • The deal was originally scheduled to be completed by Q4 2020, but was later moved to the first quarter of 2021 (Q1, 2021).

What they are saying

Excerpts of the press release read thus: ‘’Sequel to our announcement of August 6, 2020, the Board of Access Bank Plc (‘’the Bank’) today announces that its Zambian subsidiary, Access Bank (Zambia) Limited has completed the acquisition of Cavmont Bank Limited (‘’Cavmont’’), following fulfilment of the key conditions precedent including regulatory approvals.

‘’Growing our presence in Zambia remains a strategic priority for Access Bank and with the conclusion of the proposed merger with Cavmont, the Bank looks forward to realising the synergies from the transaction and achieving further growth of the combined platform to the benefit of all stakeholders.’’

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Chidi Emenike is a graduate of economics, a Young African Leadership Initiative Fellow and an Investment Foundations certificate holder. He worked as a graduate Teaching Assistant in the Federal College of Education Kano and is also a trained National Peer Group Educator on Financial Inclusion

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Corporate deals

DEAL: ClubHouse raises new Series B funding

The trending social audio app, Clubhouse has commenced another round of funding at a roughly $1 billion valuation.

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ClubHouse Raises New Series B Funding

Clubhouse has confirmed that it has raised a new Series B funding round at a $1 billion valuation led by Andrew Chen at a16z.

The invitation-only audio-chat social networking app that’s still in private beta and lets you create rooms where you can talk for hours on end, has been exciting users since it became very popular in the last few months.

Eight months ago, the app, raised $12 million in a Series A round which valued the company at $100 million. Today, investors are trying to buy shares from the company’s existing shareholders at an implied value of $1 billion.

Launched in 2020, the app has grown from a small handful of beta testers into a diverse and growing network of over two million people ranging from—musicians, scientists, creators, athletes, comedians, parents, entrepreneurs, stock traders, non-profit leaders, authors, artists, real estate agents, sports fans and more. They come to Clubhouse to talk, learn, laugh, be entertained, meet, and connect.

According to the startups’ blog postIt’s always been important to us to have investors who care deeply about diversity, and who will work hard to help us make Clubhouse a welcoming and inclusive community. We now have over 180 investors in Clubhouse—large and small, spanning many different races, genders, and areas of expertise, and including many members of our early community”.

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Why the funding matters

  • This new funding will be used to release the android version of the app since it is only available to IOS users while also investing in technology and infrastructure to keep the servers up.
  • The app will also introduce creator monetization to help creators on the platform who host conversations for others to get paid, in form of subscriptions, tipping, or ticket sales. Adding ways for users to pay other users provides an opportunity for Clubhouse to retain its users. There will also be a Creator Grant Program’ being set up by Clubhouse, which will be used to “support emerging Clubhouse creators”
  • The startup also plans to invest in advanced tools to detect and prevent abuse, and also increase the features and training resources available to moderators.
  • The platform will also see changes in its discovery feature to help people discover new rooms and clubs tailored to their interests.

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Corporate deals

Nigeria tops South Africa in FDI in 2020 – UN Report

Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy attracted a total FDI of $2.6 billion in 2020 down from the $3.3 billion it attracted a year earlier.

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Slower recovery in key markets will drag growth in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2021- United Capital report

Africa recorded a total FDI of $38 billion in 2020 representing a drop of 18% from $46 billion recorded in 2019, data from the United Nations Trade Association shows.

Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy attracted a total FDI of $2.6 billion in 2020 down from the $3.3 billion it attracted a year earlier. South Africa, a major competitor for FDI inflows in Sub Saharan Africa attracted less with $2.5 billion the report highlights.

Egypt recorded the highest influx of FDI among African countries with a total inflow of $5.5 billion representing a whopping 38% drop. Despite the drop, Egypt remains the top investment destination in Africa.

Egypt continues to remain the top destination for FDI in Africa.

 

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According to the UN report, “FDI flows to Africa declined by 18% to an estimated $38 billion, from $46 billion in 2019. Greenfield project announcements, an indication of future FDI trends, fell 63% to $28 billion, from $77 billion in 2019. The pandemic’s negative impact on FDI was amplified by low prices of and low demand for commodities.”

Nigeria has failed to push the needle on FDI investments in the last decade attracting more portfolio inflows compared to direct investment which is viewed as more stable and required to boost economic growth.

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FDI-related inflows are mostly targeted at the real sector funding investments in infrastructural development, technological innovation, manufacturing, health care, and Agriculture. According to the United Nations, lower oil prices and the pandemic induced locked down significantly affected Nigeria’s ability to attract inflows.

What UNCTAD is saying

  • “FDI inflows to Sub-Saharan Africa decreased by 11 % to an estimated $28 billion. Inflows to Nigeria declined to $2.6 billion from $3.3 billion in 2019.”
  • “Lower crude oil prices, coupled with the closure of oil development sites at the start of a pandemic due to movement restrictions, weighed heavily on FDI to Nigeria.”
  • The report also indicates South Africa attracted about $2.5 billion during the year about 50% less than the $4.6 billion it attracted a year earlier.
  • FDI to South Africa almost halved to $2.5 billion from $4.6 billion in 2019.
  • Nigeria lost a massive Google investment after the internet giant preferred to set up in South Africa investing $140 million.
  • “However, several large projects were announced including an investment by Google (United States) of approximately $140 million in a fibre optics submarine cable and an additional investment of $360 million by Pepsico (United States) to expand the capacity of Pioneer Foods.”

How the data compares with the National Bureau of Statistics

Nairametrics observed a stark difference between the data captured for Nigeria as FDI by the UN compared to what is recorded by the National Bureau of Statistics.

  • Third-quarter NBS data released in November 2020 indicated Nigeria had attracted about $777.6 million which if annualized comes to about $1 billion.
  • It suggests Nigeria may have attracted about $1.5 billion in the last quarter of the year which is highly unlikely.
  • A further check by Nairametrics reveals the NBS tracks FDI inflows from data obtained from Commercial Banks accounting only for cash received other than commitments to invest in the country.
  • Sources at the NBS explained to Nairametrics that the reason for the difference could be as a result of the way the NBS captures its data. For example, the NBS focuses on the net amount of investment received and not gross suggesting the UN numbers may be gross.
  • Net FDI means the NBS nets off outflows from inflows to arrive at the amount of money that is received by Nigeria as FDI.

A recent Nairametrics article also points to about $4.3 billion in Corporate Deals in the country out of which $1 billion is recognized as FDI-related investment according to our categorization methodology.

Africa compared to other Continents.

According to the report, global FDI flows fell by as much as 42% in 2020 from about $1.5 trillion to an estimated $859 billion.

  • According to the report the drop was mostly recorded in developed economies where FDI fell by as much as 69% to $229 billion.
  • However, developing economies where FDI is badly needed, recorded a 12% decline representing about 72% of a share of the global FDI.
  • However, most of the inflows went to China with about $163 billion, the largest recipient in 2020.
  • India’s FDI of $57 billion was higher than the entire $38 billion attracted by African countries.

Access the report here.


Updated: This article was updated to explain how the NBS captures FDI inflows.

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DEAL: uLesson raises $7.5 million Series A round

uLesson has announced that it has closed a $7.5M Series A round.

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Sim Shagaya, uLesson

uLesson, a Nigerian educational learning platform that leverages best in class teachers, media, and technology solutions to create high-quality, affordable and accessible education for African students, announced that it has closed a $7.5M Series A round.

This funding round was led by US-based Owl Ventures, which is focused on education as an investment. It was also backed by existing investors — Founder Collective and TLcom .

READ: Flutterwave, One pipe, and funding raised by Nigerian Tech startups

Founded by Sim Shagaya, uLesson curates personalised, curriculum-relevant content via mobile and PC devices for students in the K-7 to K-12 segment across the continent. Students can access the lessons via streaming and SD cards, where they can download and store the content, allowing them to study remotely, removing challenges around internet access limitations and costs.

READ: Griezmann severs ties with Huawei over Uighurs Muslims identification report

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According to Sim Shagaya,

  • The uLesson app has now been downloaded a million times with paying users from at least 7 countries (including countries we don’t formally serve). On average, learners spend around 77 minutes on the app daily — a figure that exceeds the engagement levels on most social networking apps.
  • “Our goal is that ten years from now, K-12 education on the continent will bear little semblance to what you see today. But it won’t just be different, it will be better on most dimensions and much more affordable.
  • “We also believe that the impact borne of the marriage of education and technology will be greater on the African continent than any other place in the world.”

This funding will be deployed to power uLesson’s expansion into Eastern & Southern Africa, as well as secure new talent and build its product development and production infrastructure.

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