Data & Intelligence

Case Study: Umeme Company Limited

Actis was selected as a finalist in the EMPEA Institute’s 2016 Sustainability & Operational Excellence Challenge for its active management of Umeme, Nigeria’s largest power distributor.

Impact Highlights: 

Actis worked with Umeme to develop a network refurbishment plan, which included the installation of over 225,000 poles and the replacement of the majority of the network’s dilapidated poles and conductors. In addition to investing in the company’s infrastructure, Actis identified operational and behavioral changes that needed to occur within the business and the broader community to ensure high standards of safety.

Umeme’s proactive stance against power theft set a new standard for electricity distribution businesses and contractors in the region. As of March 2016, approximately two years had passed without a single network-related “attributable” fatality (i.e., not related to illegal activity). There has also been a 20%
decline in public fatalities due to network interference and domestic electrical wirings.

Since Actis’ investment, customer connections have more than doubled (from 355,000 in 2009 to 794,000 in 2015). Electricity line losses have been reduced from 35% in 2009 to 19.5% in 2015, while cash collection rates increased to 98% in 2015—up from 80% at the time of Actis’ original acquisition.

Essentials: 

Fund Manager: Actis, an investor in the growth markets of Africa, Asia and Latin America

Company: Umeme

Country: Uganda

Sector: Energy

Business Focus: Electricity distribution

Size: US$345 million in revenue (2015)

Date of Investment: 2009

Investment: Actis invested US$34 million and owned 100% of the company until partially exiting its stake in June 2014 via a secondary sale on the Uganda Securities Exchange and the Nairobi Securities Exchange

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Brian Lim | Partner and Head of Asia and Emerging Markets, Pantheon Ventures

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Torbjorn Caesar | Senior Partner, Actis

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Drew Guff | Managing Director & Founding Partner, Siguler Guff & Company