CFO Kameel Keshav: SAHIF is committed to taking digital infrastructure to affordable housing

Increased shareholding of empowerment partners boosts the creation of a new, smart lifestyle.

African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM), one of Africa’s largest infrastructure-focused private equity fund managers, along with a consortium, will acquire a 25.8 percent interest in MetroFibre Networx (MFN).

The consortium comprises the South African Housing & Infrastructure Fund (SAHIF), through its Digital Infrastructure Consortium platform and STOA, a foreign investment vehicle based in France, while MFN is held by Sanlam Private Equity, African Rainbow Capital and a minority shareholder.

This transaction follows a R1.5 billion equity funding round concluded in December 2020 by AIIM, SAHIF and STOA in order to support MetroFibre’s R3 billion capital expansion plan over the next three years.

The shareholding also introduces the Old Mutual Hybrid Equity Fund 1 General Partnership, managed by Hybrid Equity (HE), a division of Old Mutual Alternative Investments (OMAI), as funding provider to SAHIF, which is owned by CEO Rali Mampeule and CFO Kameel Keshav and is the strategic empowerment partner to MFN.

Kameel said, “SAHIF’s increased shareholding in MFN to 22 percent ownership is another landmark for our group. We are excited to journey with MFN in its efforts to transform and grow the South African digital infrastructure landscape.”

“The additional investment not only signifies our continued support of the MFN management team’s growth ambitions; it also further emphasises SAHIF’s commitment to finding digital infrastructure solutions aimed at accelerating delivery of service land for affordable housing. We are thrilled at entrenching our position as a pre-eminent participant and contributor in the telecommunications space,” he added.

The acquisition remains subject to regulatory approvals and is envisaged to reach financial close during the second half of 2021.

MetroFibre was launched in 2010 and is considered a high-growth player in the local fibre-to-the-home and fibre-to-the-business markets.

Rali noted: “As a land fund player, we want to ultimately integrate the use of digital fibre and technology to transform affordable housing into an integrated housing platform. We have created a concept called new smart city and smart living’, a strategy to redefine affordable housing by enabling seamless engagement between the online and offline world. This transaction and the resultant increase of our shareholding in MetroFibre complements this strategy for our group.”