Africa Global Funds interview with Manish Rungta – March 2020

Meeting with Manish Rungta

Duet Private Equity Limited (DPEL) was established in 2003 and has built alliances with best-in-class strategic partners to leverage a vast network of local experience. The team has extensive experience in sourcing, structuring, executing, managing and creating value. Manish Rungta, Managing Director, Africa at DPEL tells Africa Global Funds about recent activities in Africa, current opportunities and future plans.

 

AFRICA GLOBAL FUNDS (AGF): MANISH, PLEASE TELL US ABOUT DUET PRIVATE EQUITY (DPEL).

MANISH RUNGTA (MR): DPEL is an Emerging Markets focused Private Equity group based out of London. We are part of Duet Group which is an alternative assets manager with multiple business segments like listed equities, wealth management, special situations and private equity.

 

AGF: WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN UP TO LATELY?

MR: We are focused on three key sectors for investments – (i) FMCG, (ii) Power and Utilities and (iii) Fintech. Within FMCG we have a special focus on the beverages segment, and we are also looking at opportunities across the FMCG value chain that directly benefit from consumer led growth in Africa.

 

AGF: PLEASE TELL US ABOUT YOUR INVESTMENT STRATEGY?

MR: In terms of region, we cover the whole of Africa, from North Africa to sub-Saharan Africa. We mainly do proprietary deals and only majority control situations. Our minimum ticket size is $20m and maximum $100m for a single investment.

 

AGF: WHO ARE YOUR INVESTORS AND WHERE DO THEY COME FROM?

MR: Our investors are generally a mix of institutions and family offices from Europe, Middle East and Africa.

 

AGF: PLEASE TELL US ABOUT YOUR RECENT DEALS IN AFRICA?

MR: Our Last two investments are as follows (see below).

 

AGF: WHERE DO YOU CURRENTLY SEE OPPORTUNITIES?

MR: We are looking at some export-oriented businesses in Africa, where we see a great opportunity, taking advantage of the low production costs in the region and servicing global markets. We are also looking at sectors ancillary to the FMCG sector which directly benefit from the growth in consumer demand. Regionally we are seeing a good deal flow in North Africa other than the usual markets we look at in sub-Saharan Africa.

 

AGF: IS THE FUND FULLY INVESTED?

MR: Our model is a deal-by-deal based model. Our investors have full visibility of the investment at the point of entry and have the ability to choose their region, sector, allocation etc due to the deal-by-deal structure.

 

AGF: HAVE YOU DONE/ OR PLANNING ANY EXITS?

MR: Given our deal-by-deal structure we are not limited by a fund life for our exits and exit opportunities are determined based on the best timing for each individual investment. There is no ongoing exit situation at the moment.

 

AGF: IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT’S CURRENT INVESTOR APPETITE FOR AFRICA?

MR: There is a good appetite for deal-by-deal situations in Africa as investors have clear visibility on the deal timeframe. We believe fund structures have found it difficult to deploy capital quickly in the last few years due to limited number of larger deals (non-resource sector) and longer execution times in Africa generally.

 

AGF: WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM DUET IN THE NEXT FEW MONTHS?

MR: We are working on a couple of deals at the moment and expect to announce them in H1 2020.

 

AJEAST NIGERIA – Acquiring a majority interest in the Nigerian subsidiary of a large Latin American group. DPEL invested in excess of $50m into the transaction. AJEAST is the sub-Saharan Africa subsidiary of AJE Group, a leading multinational non-alcoholic beverage manufacturer, makers of Big Cola, Big Orange, and a host of others. With the new investment, AJEAST will further intensify its focus on targeting a young demography of growing socio-economic segments, capturing both the significant advance of middle-income households, as well as the demographic dividend of the region’s expansive youth base.

 

MONEYBABA – Setting up a fintech platform for Africa. Moneybaba is the online lender focusing on responsible lending and facilitating access to credit across emerging countries. Moneybaba is already operative in South American countries under TuTasa brand. The new investment will be used for “strengthening the balance sheet, launching new countries especially in Africa”.

 

Manish Rungta, Managing Director, Africa, DPEL

Manish joined Duet in 2015 and has more than 14 years of investment experience across multiple emerging markets in Africa, Middle East, India, China and South America. Before Duet he was part of the Global M&A group at Diageo Plc and completed multiple transactions in the beverages sector. Prior, he was part of the investment team of Middle East-based private equity group Global Capital Management and completed transactions in the financial services sector. Before, Manish worked in China and India and advised on several M&A transactions in industrials, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and auto- components industry.