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African IPOs: A drought or a deluge?

Bankers believe that Vivo Energy’s dual listing in May has opened the taps on the IPO pipeline in Africa, but with primary equity markets suffering globally, is the continent really an exception?


When Vivo Energy listed on the London Stock Exchange in May, it marked the largest Africa-focused IPO to list in the UK capital in 13 years. The company, which sells Shell-branded fuels and lubricants in 2,000 filling stations in 15 African countries, raised £548 million from the sale of 30% of the business to international investors. 

After the float, the company was valued at £1.98 billion – not bad for a portfolio company, which was bought by Africa-focused private equity fund Helios Partners in 2011 for $1 billion. Vivo is also listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

Following the IPO, Vivo Energy announced an 11% increase in net income for the first half of the year, with profits hitting $95 million on the back of higher trading volumes. 

JPMorgan, Citi and Credit Suisse were joint global coordinators. BNP Paribas, Rand Merchant Bank and Standard Bank acted as joint bookrunners. 

The successful listing of Vivo renewed interest in Africa’s equity capital markets, especially for IPOs. Before Vivo, the last dual listing of note took place in April 2014, when Nigerian oil and gas company, Seplat, raised $500 million in an IPO in London and the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

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