Actis Exits Banque Commerciale du Rwanda

Jul 18, 2012, 05:00 ET from Actis

KIGALI, Rwanda, July 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

Actis, the pan-emerging markets private equity firm, and the Government of Rwanda today confirmed the sale of Actis's interest in Banque Commerciale du Rwanda ('BCR') to Kenyan regional bank, I&M Bank Limited ('I&M'), and French and German development finance institutions, Proparco and DEG.

Rwanda's Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Hon. John Rwangombwa heralded the sale of the country's second largest bank as a privatisation success story for Africa.

BCR has been named 'Best Bank in Rwanda' by Global Finance Magazine for the last five years. The purchase of BCR by regional banking group I&M is the natural next stage in its journey to become a leading East African financial institution.

Actis acquired an 80% interest in BCR in a 2004 privatisation, with the remaining 20% interest retained by the Government of Rwanda. When Actis invested, Rwanda was a post-conflict economy; it is now an attractive investment destination with a strong financial infrastructure and a robust regulatory system.

Actis is grateful for the strong support it has received from both the Rwandan Government and the regulators throughout the term of this investment.

Speaking on the sale, Rwanda's Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Hon. John Rwangombwa said: "The successful equity exit of Actis reflects the investment opportunities that the Rwandan Government has helped foster. The privatisation of Banque Commerciale du Rwanda in 2004 through a private equity investment was the first of its type in the Rwanda banking sector and has been highly successful. I take this opportunity to welcome the new investors I&M Bank Limited, Proparco and DEG. This new sale is a testament to the attractiveness of Rwanda as an investment destination. Rwanda is committed to creating a financial sector that is inclusive and accessible to allow Rwandans to take advantages of all its services."

Actis's strategy at BCR was to strengthen the management team and introduce a world-class board. Recruiting and training local Rwandan staff to create a centre of excellence within the country's banking sector was a priority. Actis broadened BCR's range of services with a particular focus on SMEs, mortgage finance, and innovative leasing and savings products.

Paul Fletcher, Senior Partner of Actis said: "The story of BCR is the story of Rwanda's success. If we think back to 2003/4, the financial services sector was largely undeveloped and in need of capital; a large proportion of the population was unbanked. There has been extraordinary progress in the past eight years with the creation of a growing and competitive financial services industry at the heart of a thriving economy."

Actis remains strongly committed to East Africa with over US$300m currently invested in the region and an intention to put at least US$200m to work over the next four years.

Notes to Editors

  • Actis made its investment in BCR from two funds, Actis Africa Fund 2 and The Canada Investment Fund for Africa; thereby enabling BCR to benefit from both the investment of British government capital via CDC, and Canadian government capital managed by Cordiant.  

  • Current Actis investments in East Africa include Ugandan electricity distributor, Umeme, and bank, DFCU; Kenyan power generator, Tsavo, as well as a suite of real estate investments including Nairobi Business Park, and Capital Properties in Dar es Salaam.

About Actis

Actis invests exclusively in the emerging markets with a growing portfolio of investments in Asia, Africa and Latin America; it currently has US$5bn funds under management. Combining the expertise of over 100 investment professionals on the ground in nine countries, Actis identifies investment opportunities in three areas: private equity, energy and real estate.

Actis has close to US$1.5 billion invested in 18 African countries and 32 investment professionals working from offices in Cairo, Johannesburg, Lagos, London and Nairobi.

Actis is proud to actively and positively grow the value of those companies in which it invests and in so doing contribute to broader society.

Claire Davies

Alastair Fairbrother / Haw-Yan Man