Actis sells stake in Ugandan utility firm

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Actis sells stake in Ugandan utility firm

Actis yesterday announced the successful sale of a substantial stake of Ugandan electricity distributor, Umeme Ltd (Umeme) for US$85.5 million. The shares were bought by over 20 new and existing blue-chip institutional investors in a heavily oversubscribed secondary offer through the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) and the Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE).

Actis had said in May that it was selling 45.1 % out of the 60.08 % stake it owned in the utility.

Investec Asset Management and Uganda's National Social Security Fund (NSSF) join Actis as cornerstone institutional shareholders in Umeme. Actis will shortly make additional shares available to local retail investors and to Umeme's directors and management team, retaining a significant minority stake for at least two years.

This transaction is the largest secondary block trade to date on the USE. The trade follows on from Umeme's recent landmark IPO, cross-listing on NSE and US$190 million corporate financing.

David Grylls, Partner at Actis commented:

"We are delighted to be deepening the capital pool into Uganda and broadening the institutional shareholders of Umeme, to continue the next phase of growth. That growth is indicative of Uganda's powerful macroeconomic story."

Eng. Kabagambe Kalisa, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development:

"By divesting the Umeme shares to such credible investors, Actis is further enhancing the energy sector. These investors are welcome to Uganda and to look at additional investment opportunities in the sector and beyond."

Umeme was formed in 2004 when the Government of Uganda sold Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Limited (UEDCL) to a consortium belonging to Globeleq (56%), a subsidiary of the Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC) of the United Kingdom and Eskom (44%), the electric generating company of South Africa.

The transfer of assets did not take place until 1 March 2005. During 2006, the consortium formed by Globeleq and Eskom was restructured and Globeleq became the sole owner of Umeme. As a result of internal restructuring within CDC, Actis Capital acquired ownership of the assets previously owned by Globeleq, thereby making Umeme a 100% subsidiary of Actis Capital.

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