Nimbus Infrastructure conducted its first Capital Raising on 29 September 2017, and listed on the Namibia Stock Exchange via Private Placement on 6 October 2017, trading under the share code NUSP.
The listing of Nimbus was a joint initiative between Cirrus Capital, Paratus Namibia and Cronje & Company. Nimbus is a new and innovative concept for Namibia, as it represents the country’s first listed Capital Pool Company (CPC). The CPC is a capital raising structure that is relatively commonly utilised in North America and more recently, South Africa, which allows for capital raising and co-investment by various institutional and individual investors in order to seek and develop potential investments.
The initial capital raising saw in excess of N$100 million raised from institutions and retail investors, for investment into ICT projects and institutions in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Nimbus is currently looking at a number of potential transactions and as per the stock exchange rules, aims to take these transactions forward for shareholder approval before the end of the year.
The Nimbus listing boasts exciting opportunities for Namibia, as not only does it focus on the fast-growing ICT sector across the continent, but in so doing, it offers a strong diversification opportunity for the funds of institutions and individuals alike, allowing diversified jurisdiction, currency and sector returns for investors. In addition, as Namibia’s first CPC, Nimbus represents an opportunity to prove a new concept that will likely form a critical part of the future development of the Namibian real and financial sectors.
Nimbus allows opportunities to utilise Namibian discretionary and contractual savings to play a key role in the development of the Namibian economy for the benefit of the Namibian people. Saving and investing is critical for an economy as investment drives increases in productive capacity and long term growth, vital for wealth and job creation, and ultimately poverty reduction.
Nimbus has signed a management agreement with Paratus Namibia, whereby the investments made by Nimbus will be managed by Paratus. Paratus is a Namibian born-and-bred company, started by three Namibians in the early 2000s. The company has grown to be a pan-African ICT operator, with offices in seven countries on the continent, and sales in 25 countries across the continent.
When it comes to ICT, Africa is lagging behind much of the rest of the world, with internet penetration rates, on average, around one-third of what one sees in the developed world. In this regard, most African countries have internet penetration rates of under 30% (Namibia is at approximately 31%), with countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo having an Internet penetration rate of approximately 4% of the population.
World Bank studies have shown that access to the internet has a strong positive correlation with growth, resulting in wealth and job creation, and poverty and inequality reduction.