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Wilderness sells major stake to American equity investor – new vision to grow the group across Africa

Wilderness sells major stake to American equity investor – new vision to grow the group across Africa

Wilderness Safaris’ parent, Wilderness Holdings announced that it has sold a 34% equity stake to a global investment fund that considers social and environmental gains equally important to market-related financial returns.

Wilderness Holdings Ltd, dual-listed on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange and the Botswana Stock Exchange, said on Thursday that The Rise Fund, based in California, has acquired a significant stake in the ecotourism company for an undisclosed amount.

In Namibia, Wilderness Safaris is known for its very exclusive upmarket camps in the remote corner of the Skeleton Coast in the Kunene Region. Many of these camps can only be reached by aeroplane, a service provided by another of the group’s subsidiaries, Wilderness Air.

Wilderness Holdings, founded in Botswana in 1983, has since expanded its interests to establishments in Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Kenya and Rwanda. The group supports two non-profit partners, Children in the Wilderness and the Wilderness Wildlife Trust, both promoting the benefits of ecotourism among the youth and local communities.

Chief Executive of Wilderness Holdings, Keith Vincent, said “Wilderness has always been dedicated to a purpose-driven approach based on our 4Cs sustainability ethos of Commerce, Community, Culture and Conservation. We welcome our newest shareholder, The Rise Fund, and are proud to be standing shoulder to shoulder with such like-minded individuals. We are [now] even more committed to our founding vision: to conserve and restore Africa’s wilderness and wildlife by creating life-changing journeys and inspiring positive action.”

In all the countries where it operates, Wilderness works closely with local community leaders and drives local economic growth by creating stable, well-paying jobs for members of those communities.

Chief Executive of The Rise Fund, Bill McGlashan said “This is a great opportunity to partner with an important Africa-grown company to help them expand their business while building on their long track-record and history of sustainability and environmental and social impact across the continent.”

“This investment marks a major milestone in the relationship we have built with Wilderness Holdings. Keith and his leadership team ranks as one of the very strongest in Africa, and Wilderness Holdings has the potential to create significant environmental and economic impact on the continent,” said Mike Stone, Chief Investment Officer of The Rise Fund.

The fund is managed by TPG Growth, a private investment firm with approximately US$13.5 billion in assets under management. The Wilderness investment is its second foray into Africa.

The fund will be represented on the Wilderness Holdings board by Yemi Lalude and Jide Olanrewaju.


 

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Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia

Promotion

20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.