A new blank cheque firm, or special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), that seeks to invest in consumer-facing business in Africa is looking to raise over $50 million to list on the Nasdaq stock exchange.
PHP Ventures Acquisition Corp said it intends to focus on consumer-facing companies with a significant Africa presence or a compelling Africa potential. It may look at segments like consumer products, retail, services and related sectors.
The firm is led by Marcus Choo Yeow Ngoh (CEO), Garry Richard Stein (CFO) and strategy head Vanitha Mani Thevaratnam.
Ngoh is a former marketing executive with Singapore’s Everdynamic Marketing. He has also served as the director of Edmark Promotions HongKong Co. Ltd for 15 years, opening new businesses in the Middle East and Africa.
In particular, he has been involved with launching operations of companies in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Oman, Qatar, Ghana, Nigeria, Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso and Cote D’Ivoire.
Stein has worked at Hope Gold Ltd, a gold miner. In the past, he has been involved with firms like Quotable Management Ltd, CAF Ltd, Global Networking One Group Holdings Ltd, Mineral Bull Ltd, Salmon River Resources Ltd and Shi Ba Capital. Thevaratnam has a background in public relations.
PHP Ventures would look to join African Gold Acquisition Corporation (AGAC), which went public on the New York Stock Exchange earlier this year. AGAC is a blank cheque company incorporated for the purpose of effecting a merger or acquire an asset. While the company may pursue a deal in any industry, it intends to focus on a target with operations or prospective operations in the gold mining sector.
A bulk of the world’s known gold reserves are believed to be in Africa. The sponsors of AGAC have existing relationships on the continent, leading to a likelihood of the proposed deal being planned in Africa.
These are among the few SPACs aimed at Africa. A lack of strong capital markets in Africa has long been a concern for private investors as one mode of exit became redundant. SPACs can be one way to open this window.