Actis sells stake in Ugandan electricity distributor

Actis has sold a stake of Ugandan electricity distributor Umeme for $85.5 million. Investec Asset Management and Uganda’s National Social Security Fund join Actis as cornerstone institutional shareholders in Umeme.


Actis, the pan-emerging markets private equity firm, today 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).

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$190m 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.”

About Actis
Actis invests exclusively in the emerging markets with a growing portfolio of investments in Asia, Africa and Latin America; it currently has US$7 billion funds under management. Combining the expertise of over 120 investment professionals on the ground in nine countries, Actis identifies investment opportunities in three areas: private equity, energy and real estate. Actis is proud to actively and positively grow the value of those companies in which it invests and in so doing contribute to broader society.

About Umeme
Umeme is the largest electricity distribution company in Uganda.
Since Actis invested in Umeme in 2005, the Company has invested over US$ 224m in modernising its distribution system. By the end of 2013, Umeme had increased its customer base from 250,000 to 584,000 customers and it now directly employs over 1,300 staff.

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