Amethis closes its fifth transaction with Fidelity

Amethis Finance and Edmond de Rothschild Europportunities Management II invest in the Ghanaian Banking Sector by completing the acquisition of a minority shareholding in Fidelity Bank Ghana

Accra, April, 8th 2014

Amethis Finance (“Amethis”) and Edmond de Rothschild Europportunities Management II (“ERES”) are pleased to announce the acquisition of a minority stake in Fidelity Bank Ghana Limited, for a total consideration of approximately USD 35million and alongside Kagiso Tiso Holdings (“KTH”) of South Africa.

This transaction represents Amethis’ third investment in the Sub-Saharan Africa Banking sector and the second in Ghana, and the first investment of ERES in the African continent. This transaction has been approved by the Bank of Ghana.

Fidelity Bank Limited (“Fidelity”, “Fidelity Bank” or the “Bank”) was originally created in 1998 as a discount house to provide investment products and services to both private and institutional customers. Fidelity Bank was issued with its universal banking license in 2006, becoming the 22nd bank to be licensed by the Bank of Ghana, with the ambition to create a local world class bank.

The Bank has since reported impressive performances, having grown at three times the industry average and is now viewed as one of the best indigenous bank in the industry, with 50 branches across 9 out of the 10 regions in Ghana, 75 ATMs and a work force of over 1000 full-time employees and field sales force of 800. Fidelity is the sixth largest bank in the country and has ambitions to further enhance its leadership position in a growing and highly competitive banking sector.

Fidelity Bank has thus successfully raised close to USD 70million in a mix of ordinary and preferences shares, in order to strengthen its capital base and fuel its growth and expansion plans. Fidelity Bank engaged Fidelity Securities Limited and IC Securities (Ghana) Limited as Transaction Advisors.

Amethis’ and ERES’ investment is first and foremost a long term partnership with Fidelity aimed at fostering significant value addition for the Bank and its stakeholders through Amethis’ and the Edmond de Rothschild Group’s respective track record, network and expertise in the financial services sector.

“Based on its sound and stable performances, as well as its increasing visibility and recognition within the industry, Fidelity is in our view one of the best performers in the Ghanaian Banking sector.” declared Laureen Kouassi-Olsson, Investment Director, in charge of Amethis Finance’s investment strategy in the financial sector. “This second equity investment in the Sub-Saharan African banking sector confirms Amethis’ commitment to support leading participants in the Continent’s financial services industry in the achievement of their growth and expansion plans as well as of their long term strategic goals” she added.

This investment amid the recent headwinds in the Ghanaian macroeconomic environment confirms Amethis Finance’s long term investment horizon as well as its confidence in Fidelity’s sound fundamentals. “Fidelity is poised to outperform its peers and strengthen its positioning as the leading indigenous bank in the Ghanaian banking sector as well as one of the country’s top tier commercial bank thanks to its innovative retail strategy. Amethis is delighted and proud to have entered into such a long term partnership with Fidelity Bank” affirmed Laurent Demey, Managing Partner at Amethis Finance.

The Managing Director of Fidelity Bank Ghana Limited, Edward Effah, said “Amethis and Rothschild’s investment is a vote of confidence in the Board and Management of the Bank. Our strategy is to prudently grow our asset base and become a leading bank in Ghana. We welcome Amethis’ investment and look forward to a long-term partnership that will complement our strategy and enhance our ability to access global markets”.

Commenting on the transaction, ERES’ Deputy Director, Pierre Rousseau said “We are very pleased to be partnering with Fidelity Bank Ghana on our first investment in Africa. We believe that Fidelity is the best independent player in the Ghanaian banking market thanks to a culture of high customer service, efficient processes and product innovation.”

“ERES is delighted to have entered into a long term partnership with Fidelity Bank, led by a talented and experienced management team. The Bank offers strong growth perspectives supported by a clear strategy and should contribute to the growth of Ghana” noted Samuel Pinto, Manager at ERES.

Following the completion of the transaction, Amethis and KTH will join the Fidelity Bank Board of Directors.

Fidelity Bank Ghana Limited
Fidelity Bank Ghana is a high growth bank and the largest privately held domestic bank in Ghana. The Bank was founded in 1998 as a discount house and awarded a universal banking license in June 2006. Since then Fidelity Bank has experienced phenomenal growth with total assets CAGR of 51% and 139% CAGR in PBT. Fidelity currently ranks 6th in the Ghanaian market by customer deposits.

Fidelity offers retail banking, corporate and institutional banking, mortgage, treasury and e-banking platforms. The bank currently has 50 branches principally concentrated in Accra and to a lesser extent in secondary cities such as Kumasi and Takoradi. Fidelity has an offshore banking subsidiary (Fidelity Asia Bank Limited) responsible for providing loans and other credit facilities, as well as deposits and other transactions to customers in the Asia Pacific region, there by capitalizing on increased trade-flows between Ghana and China.

The Bank has over 1000 full-time employees and field sales force of 800 and is currently the only bank with a license to pilot Agency Banking in Ghana. Agency Banking is one of the primary sources of financial inclusion through use of merchants, roaming agents and other third parties to supply banking services to customers outside of the traditional branch network.

Amethis Finance
Amethis Finance is an investment vehicle dedicated to Africa, with a total investment capacity of USD USD 400million since its first closing in December 2012. Amethis Finance has been created by a team of experienced investors and bankers led by Luc Rigouzzo and Laurent Demey and by La Compagnie Benjamin de Rothschild, subsidiary of the Edmond de Rothschild Group. They have been joined by a large group of private investors combining financial institutions and family offices. Amethis Finance is a “one stop shop” which provides all long-term financial instruments (long-term debt, equity and quasi equity investment), with high standards and objectives in terms of development, social and governance criteria.

Edmond de Rothschild Europportunities Management II (“ERES”)
Edmond de Rothschild Europportunities Management II is a subsidiary of the Edmond de Rothschild Group. The team in charge of ERES has currently USD 420 million of assets under management and invests mostly in mid-market companies across the globe and with a flexible approach.

Founded in 1953, the Edmond de Rothschild Group, an independent, family-owned group, specializes in private banking and asset management. As heir to the traditions and values that have ensured the success of the Rothschild family for 250 years, the Edmond de Rothschild Group has established itself over time as a leading player in European finance. It has been chaired since 1997 by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild, the founder’s son and has USD 170 billion in assets under management, 2,900 employees and 37 offices worldwide. In addition to its asset management and private banking activities, the group is also active in the fields of corporate advisory, private equity and fund administration.