Actis buys Africa’s largest credit bureau - CNBC Africa

Actis buys Africa’s largest credit bureau

Southern Africa

by Trust Matsilele 0

Actis has acquired Compuscan. PHOTO: Actis

Through its new acquisition, Actis has established Credit Services Holdings (CSH), a buy-and-build credit services business.

“Actis is backing an excellent and entrepreneurial management team and we are delighted to attract Michael Jordaan to help build the brand and take it to the next stage of growth,” said Jonathan Matthews, Director in Actis’s Johannesburg office.

“Only five per cent of adults in Africa are covered by credit bureaus compared with 64 per cent in OECD countries, and many countries are still without the necessary bureau infrastructure. We are excited to be investing in Compuscan and making the first steps towards bridging that gap,” added Mathews.

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Michael Jordaan, formerly CEO of South Africa’s First National Bank and a leading figure in the African financial services industry, has been appointed as Chairman of CSH.

Compuscan provides multiple credit data, decision analytics services and training, to over 3,500 clients including banks, telcos, retailers, microcredit institutions and insurers, across several countries including South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Uganda and Ethiopia.

Ali Mazanderani, Actis’s Africa Investment Principal said the credit services industry had growth potential in emerging nations.

“We see this as the first in a series of investments in the space and the natural next step after EMPH and Paycorp, in building financial infrastructure in the region.  Credit bureaus have the potential to reduce loan interest rates as well as decrease the number of non-performing loans, while increasing financial access, credit expansion and ultimately economic growth,” noted Mazanderani.

(READ MORE: Actis to acquire Transaction Capital’s Paycorp in 937 million rand deal)

With over 40 per cent of Actis' investments located in Africa, the company has been expanding its investments in the emerging markets with a growing portfolio in Asia, Africa and Latin America. It currently has seven billion US dollar funds under management.

The pan-emerging markets investor boasts of over 120 expertise investment professionals on the ground in nine countries that identifies investment opportunities in private equity, energy and real estate.