Africa PE firm Helios continues exit spree with Nigeria stake sale

 Africa PE firm Helios continues exit spree with Nigeria stake sale

Marquee African private equity firm Helios Investment Partners, which is on the road to raise the largest sector-agnostic fund for the continent, has made a new liquidity move.

The PE firm has already struck as many as four exit moves over the last 12 months and is on course for a fifth exit, The Capital Quest reported earlier this month.

The PE firm said OVH Energy BV, a joint venture between Vitol and Helios, has completed the sale of its stake in OVH Energy Marketing Ltd and ASPM Ltd to Nueoil Energy, a Nigerian company.

In July 2016, Nigerian energy group Oando had concluded a $210 million recapitalization and partial divestment of its downstream operations to a consortium of Helios and Vitol. The new company, renamed OVH Energy, is the second largest downstream fuels company in Nigeria.

Its assets comprise over 350 service stations in the home country with supporting infrastructure, including 84,000 tons of storage and a newly built inbound logistics jetty; as well as complementary businesses, chiefly LPG filling and distribution, lubricants and an interest in a supply and bulk distribution company in Ghana.

Helios has been on an exit spree. If the other proposed exit works out it would have sealed half a dozen stake sale transactions in the last 12 months. The exits could boost its fundraising process for the big investment vehicle. The PE fir has been on the road for at least two years for the fund.

In May, it struck a partial exit from Interswitch as LeapFrog and Temasek-backed Tana invested in the Nigeria-based payments company.

Earlier this year, it pared its stake in Nigerian gas distributor Axxela.  Last November, Helios struck its second exit of 2021, selling its 27% stake in Vivo Energy. The exit was part of a transaction where Dutch energy and commodities trader Vitol, which owns around 36% of Vivo Energy, offered to buy the remaining shareholders for $1.5 billion.

Two months before the Vivo exit, Helios signed off from GBfoods Africa by selling its 49% stake to joint venture partner GBfoods. Helios had invested in the FMCG firm from its third fund and is believed to have pumped around $125 million into the company.

Vivek Sinha

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The Capital Quest