Actis makes third RE fund exit in Ghana

The Africa, Asia and Latin America-focused private equity firm has completed the third exit of its $150m Actis Africa Real Estate Fund selling its 85% stake in the Accra Mall in Ghana to South African buyers.

Actis, the London-based, pan-emerging markets private equity firm, has completed the third exit of its $150 million Actis Africa Real Estate Fund.

The firm announced it has sold its 85 percent stake in the Accra Mall to South African commercial and retail property developer Atterbury and financial services group, Sanlam. The firm declined to divulge the sale price but did state the deal reflected a yield on exit of 7.4 percent on 2012’s net operating income.

Actis said it managed the development of the 204,516 square foot mall, invested the equity and raised the debt to finance the project. The mall opened to the public in July 2008 and is fully let, attracting 135,000 shippers each week, the firm said.

Actis described the mall as Ghana’s first and only A-grade mall. It is home to retailers including Shoprite and Game as well as Ghanaian retailers including Kiki Clothing and Nallem.

In the announcement, David Morley, head of real estate at Actis, said: “This sale reflects the serious interest of quality institutional investors in sub-Saharan real estate assets. The development of Accra Mall came at a time when Ghanaians still sourced even basic goods from London and Johannesburg. Now they can buy products locally with pride.”

Actis developed the mall in partnership with Ghanaian entrepreneurs, the Owusu-Akyaw family. According to local media, the mall was the brainchild of the late Joseph Owusu-Akyaw who died in February 2010, aged 71 years.

In tribute, Alex Bruks of the Owusu-Akyaw family said: “My brother, the late Joseph Owusu-Akyaw, shared a vision with Actis: to create a focal point where Ghanaians could come to socialise, shop and relax, and to bring a new standard of retail to Ghana. It has been a rewarding journey and this mall stands as testament to our joint ambition and hard work. We are excited about this next chapter in the mall’s history.”

The Actis Africa Real Estate Fund was closed in 2006. Its capital includes equity from UK-government-backed emerging markets private equity fund of funds, CDC.