Selected Case Studies
ACA had been tracking the GSM opportunity prior to the award of licenses in 2001 and had partnered with another African regional telecommunications player in an unsuccessful license bid. After the bid, the opportunity arose to take a minority stake in MTN Nigeria, one of the companies that won the GSM license. ACA sponsored a fund, which invested in the opportunity through a vehicle. With key minority protections in place, such as an ACA partner being the Chairman and representation of the minority shareholders on the board, MTN became the most successful investment in the CAPE I portfolio. At the time of CAPE I’s investment MTN was worth $400 million, by the time of the CAPE I exit the company was worth $13 billion.
ACA partnered with Grey Securities (currently Group4Securicor) to establish Outsourcing Services Limited (OSL) which provided professional guarding and security services in Nigeria. The security services sector was fragmented and there was opportunity for an international brand backed by a strong management team to succeed in Nigeria. The company quickly became the leading security services provider in Nigeria, and significantly improved the quality of security services in the country. By the time ACA exited, the business was worth $30 million.
ACA partnered with ABC Transport, one of the leading providers of luxury transport services in Nigeria. ACA took the view that the road transportation industry in Nigeria in 2003 had significant room for growth, and decided to back ABC’s expansion plans. ABC grew its fleet from 46 buses when CAPE I invested to 135 and pioneered the expansion into the West Coast of Africa. When ACA exited the company, it was worth $51 million; an increase of over tenfold on the $3.5 million value at the time of our investment.
In 2005/06, ACA had identified broadband as a sector to focus on. The penetration rate in the country at the time was less than 5% and there was a significant opportunity to be tapped. The managing director of Swift Networks was an experienced entrepreneur who had already built a successful business in a different industry. ACA partnered with him to roll out broadband services first in Lagos with plans for expansion to other key cities. At the time of investment Swift had just over 200 subscribers. By the end of 2012, Swift had 75,000 subscribers and was valued at over $100m.