An African focussed private equity fund chaired by former Boomtown Rats front man Bob Geldof has bought a 42pc stake in Orient Bank Limited, a mid-tier commercial bank in Uganda, from Keystone Bank, a state-owned Nigerian bank. The 8 Miles LLP fund completed the deal in recent weeks.
Geldof is chairman of the London- based private equity group, which has raised $200m from investors including the World Bank, African Development Bank, Vital Capital and the British overseas development finance group CDC.
"The financial services sector in Uganda represents an attractive investment opportunity with a growing economy and a largely unbanked population. We have the opportunity to work alongside a knowledgeable founder and a good management team and we are delighted to be backing them," according to 8 Miles partner Hemen Shah.
Orient Bank Limited was set up in 1993 and provides banking, stockbroking and other related financial services to various retail and corporate customers in Uganda.
It is estimated that around 80pc of the population in Uganda is unbanked. Orient Bank has 23 branches in across Uganda and had customer deposits of around €125m at the end of 2014.
The 8 Miles private equity group has made a number of other investments in Africa.
Late last year it bought a 25.1pc stake in Egyptian chemical group Eagle. The firm is the leading resin supplier to major paint companies in Egypt and one of the largest producers of resin and polymer products in Africa. It employs around 600 people.
In June 2014, 8 Miles acquired a majority stake in Ugandan agribusiness Biyizika Poultry International, which produces poultry feed and chicks.
It also bought 100pc of Awash Wines, the Ethiopian state wine company as well as a stake in Kenya commodity exchange group Eleni.
Sunday Indo Business