Actis and Comafin sell Protea stake

Actis, a private equity investor in emerging markets, and Comafin, a pan African private equity fund, have sold their 37.5% stake in Protea Hospitality Corporation (PHC) to a black economic empowerment (BEE) consortium. Actis and Comafin, have been shareholders in the company since 1999. The investment generated an 21.5% IRR and 2.6 times cash multiple in five years in US dollar terms.

Protea is one of Africa’s leading hotel group with over 130 hotels across Africa, the UK and Russia. Since investing, Actis has worked with Protea’s management to lead the group’s African expansion by helping it to identify appropriate sites and obtain the requisite approvals outside South Africa.

Actis has recently invested in South Africa’s Delta Electrical and Peters Papers. Elsewhere in Africa, the firm has made investments in Candax, Starcomms and UACN and also exited its investment in Celtel.

Peter Schmid, a managing partner of Actis, said: “Our investment in Protea has generated attractive returns and is an excellent demonstration of how we work with management to help them unlock value and build successful businesses by leveraging our African network. The tourism and hospitality sector remains attractive and we will consider further investments in this industry.”