Exits in Emerging Markets: Actis' Investment in Umeme
This case assesses Actis’ optimal exit route for Umeme, a Ugandan electricity distribution company in their investment portfolio. Actis, a private equity firm that invests exclusively in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, had spent seven years substantially transforming Umeme. In their search for a suitable exit, the partners at Actis weighed their ability to leave Umeme well positioned to continue the operational and financial improvements that Actis had made during their investment period, while also ensuring a robust return for Actis’ investors. By exploring the various routes available to Actis, this case demonstrates the factors at play in the creation of social and economic gains through private equity investment.
The case aims to serve as a basis for broader discussion on how private equity firms evaluate their investments and subsequent exit opportunities. The case focuses on Actis to gain insights on the following questions: How are potential investments evaluated? Do private equity investments promote growth and therefore create social impact? What are some criteria that are examined when determining how to exit an investment?