Sunday, May 28

BluePeak announces first investment from flagship $200m private capital fund to Grit

Investment channelled directly to two assets:

  • One of the largest sale and leaseback deals in sub-Saharan Africa, designed to enhance critical consumer goods manufacturing and logistics capacity in Kenya
  • Healthcare business in Mauritius creates 250+ permanent jobs and new platform for training and up-skilling medical specialists

BluePeak Private Capital – an alternative asset management firm with a strong focus on Africa – today announced its investment in Grit Real Estate Income Group Limited (“Grit”), a breakthrough pan–African real estate company. The investment operationalises Grit’s development plan to boost industrial and health facilities in East Africa – improving access to essential goods and quality healthcare.

London Stock Exchange-listed Grit invests in and actively manages a diversified portfolio of high-quality assets across the continent. Founded in 2014 by Bronwyn Knight, Grit’s portfolio comprises 54 investments across more than eight countries and five asset classes.

BluePeak partnered with Ethos Mezzanine Partners, one of the oldest mezzanine financiers in sub-Saharan Africa, to jointly invest US$ 31.5 million in Grit. The transaction marks the inaugural investment from the BluePeak Private Capital Fund SCSp (the Fund), an impact-linked private credit and mezzanine finance facility raised during the Covid19 pandemic. BluePeak designs innovative financing solutions to scale mid-sized African businesses.

The Fund reached first close at $115 million in September 2021 and is targeting a final close of US$200 million later this year, with a hard cap of US$ 250 million. It provides vital growth capital to non-cyclical, growing firms, enabling them to accelerate innovation and transformation strategies and emerge from the pandemic stronger and more resilient. BluePeak’s expertise in structuring allows the team to offer a range of bespoke debt instruments, including mezzanine finance, preferred equity, convertibles, and senior debt. Investments are designed to maximise participation and impact for women and marginalised groups and targeted to sectors which directly uplift quality of life for millions of people.

Proceeds from the Fund’s inaugural investment into Grit will be deployed to partially fund the acquisition (on a sale and leaseback basis), restoration and expansion of a prominent warehousing and manufacturing facility in Nairobi by Orbit Africa (“Orbit”). Orbit is a pioneering manufacturer of personal and home care hygiene products in the East African region.

The total purchase, refurbishment, and expansion cost of US$ 53.6 million is actualised by a US$ 25 million senior debt structure backed by the International Finance Corporation (“IFC”), a member of the World Bank Group, and US$ 28.6 million through the investment provided by BluePeak and Ethos. As one of the largest sale and leaseback transactions across sub-Saharan Africa, the deal bolsters Orbit’s balance sheet and unlocks additional cash flow to enable the company’s expansion, increasing production to meet rising consumer demand.

The facility upgrades are expected to create long-lasting positive social, economic, and environmental benefits for local communities and further strengthen the broader precinct as a prime logistics and supply chain hub. The property will also pursue an IFC EDGE green building certification. The acquisition enables Grit to accelerate the scale and transformation of industrial logistics in Africa, which should improve the continent’s competitiveness and deepen intra-African trade.

Grit will invest the remaining proceeds of BluePeak and Ethos’ investment into St Helene Private Hospital, a freely accessible multi-speciality hospital in the Curepipe region of Mauritius, one of the island’s most densely populated areas, where there is urgent demand for quality health care. The hospital will serve patients in Mauritius and from the broader Indian Ocean region. The state of the art 80-bed facility delivers a 20% increase in the number of intensive care unit (public and private) beds on the island and will offer a full range of medical treatments including cardiology, orthopaedics, general surgery, gynaecology, and oncology.

Adam Hadidi, Managing Director at BluePeak Private Capital, commented: “Grit has built one of the largest and most diversified real estate platforms across Africa and proven the resilience of its portfolio. We are pleased to support Orbit’s acquisition and redevelopment of a one-of-a-kind industrial asset in Kenya, and the development of St Helene, to boost access to quality healthcare facilities in Mauritius.”

Bronwyn Knight, Founder and CEO of Grit said: “We are excited to start this long-term partnership with the IFC, BluePeak and Ethos Mezzanine Partners on the strength of a robust and well-established East African tenant covenant and an accretive investment and redevelopment project in a prime location. The funding will allow Grit to further increase its exposure to Kenya and the broader light industrial sector and additionally to the healthcare sector in Mauritius”.