Wananchi Group announces major new growth capital financing

Wananchi Group, owners of the Zuku Fiber, Zuku pay TV and Simbanet business services brands, today announced the closure of a $130m financing to fund its growth and expansion in East and Southern Africa.

“The new capital investment will be used to consolidate the group’s market leadership in East Africa and to extend our services across East and Southern Africa. We will continue the deployment of fiber to the home networks in more cities in East Africa and extend our business services networks and product offerings across a wide variety of geographies and market segments. With our stronger balance sheet we will also invest in exciting new technologies and service platforms to improve the quality of our products and deliver a superior experience for our customers,” said Richard Bell, Vice Chairman of Wananchi.

The capital investment was co-led by existing Wananchi shareholders including Altice SA, Liberty Global, Emerging Capital Partners (“ECP”) and ATMT and new investors, Helios Investment Partners.

Ali Mufuruki, Chairman of the Board of Wananchi, said, “This is a very exciting time for Wananchi. We have grown tremendously over the six years since we founded the business. The significant size of this investment round is further proof that the markets have confidence in our business strategy and our performance to date. There is no better time than now to invest in African markets and the transformation of the African consumer experience, of which Wananchi is at the forefront in East Africa.”

He added, “I am very pleased to welcome Helios Investment Partners, a highly respected and successful African investor to the Wananchi Group family. I would also like to recognize Altice, Liberty Global, ECP, ATMT of Mauritius, EACP of Kenya, Kew Capital from London, our management and staff, and the Board of Directors of Wananchi that has provided steady guidance and leadership throughout this process.”

Richard Essex, a Partner at shareholder East Africa Capital Partners (“EACP”), added, “We also owe a huge debt of gratitude to the US-government’s Overseas Private Investment Corporation who has committed significant capital to support the ongoing growth of the business since Wananchi was established.”

Alykhan Nathoo, a Partner at Helios, stated, “Helios is excited to contribute to this latest growth capital financing for Wananchi. We have been extremely impressed with the significant successes Wananchi has accomplished to date, and look forward to working with the Wananchi team and its existing shareholders to achieve its growth goals.”

“We believe this capital injection will enable the Wananchi Group to extend the coverage of its infrastructure as well as build upon its strong broadband-led triple play product offering, including direct to home satellite products to many more tens of thousands of consumers across the greater Eastern Africa region and beyond,” added Dennis Aluanga, a Partner at Helios based in Kenya.