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Kingdom Zephyr takes strategic stake in South Africa’s Buildworks

Pan-African private equity investment firm Kingdom Zephyr Africa Management has completed a USD20m investment in South African power infrastructure and heavy building materials company

Pan-African private equity investment firm Kingdom Zephyr Africa Management has completed a USD20m investment in South African power infrastructure and heavy building materials company Buildworks.

The investment in Buildworks was made through Kingdom Zephyr’s second private equity fund, Pan-African Investment Partners II, and represents a strategic stake of 30 per cent, with the option to increase to 35 per cent.

Buildworks was founded in late 2007 by Raoul Gamsu, a South African entrepreneur and former senior executive of Bidvest and Mvelaphanda, starting as a small player in the supply of heavy building materials to the construction industry.

With its acquisition of Consolidated Power Projects, mainly funded by the PAIP II cornerstone investment, Buildworks has become Africa’s leading company in the design, construction and testing of electrical switchyards and substations, and strategically repositioned its core focus on Africa’s growing power infrastructure sector.

Panos Voutyritsas, a partner at Kingdom Zephyr, says: ‘We are especially pleased to be partnering with Buildworks. We believe the company is ideally suited to benefit from the growing electricity sector in Africa, where Conco has been a leader in its field having operated successfully in 14 African countries and completed over 580 projects since its founding.

‘The stake in Buildworks represents our faith in South Africa’s economic prospects, a long term commitment to the growing South African and African infrastructure space, and a close partnership with an excellent management team.

‘The mutual goal is to expand Buildworks’ business lines within the power sector, enhance its footprint on the African continent, and explore potential growth opportunities in the Middle East through our extensive relationships in that region.’

Gamsu adds: ‘Kingdom Zephyr has an excellent track record of investing in profitable, multi-country African companies, and we are delighted to now be part of this story. This strategic relationship will enhance Conco’s ability to further expand on the continent and enter the Middle East, two regions where demand for electricity far outstrips supply.’

Kingdom Zephyr’s recent investments include: Zain (formerly Celtel; pan-African cellular telecoms), CNIA Assurance (Moroccan insurance), Letshego Holdings (pan-African consumer micro-finance), Ecobank Transnational (pan-African bank), UBA (Nigerian bank), Mixta (multi-country low cost housing developer) and Thunnus Overseas Group (West African canned tuna manufacturer).

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