Fusion Capital invests in Ugandan publisher

Saturday April 13 2013

By BERNARD BUSUULWA The EastAfrican

Private equity firm Fusion Capital has concluded an investment deal with one of Uganda’s oldest publishing firms as it seeks to reap from growing dividends.

The Kenya-based private equity firm invested an undisclosed amount in Mukono Bookshop Printing and Publishing Company Ltd.

The firm also claims it invested around $4 million in local ventures last year, with more than 75 per cent of this sum spent on real estate and publishing sector deals. Other areas include trade finance and timber processing.

Funds secured from this deal will be ploughed into the publisher’s expansion programme, which includes relocation of its printing unit from Kampala to Namanve Industrial Park, 15 kilometres east of the capital, together with the installation of high capacity, multi-colour printing machinery.

Growth in the overall number of private universities and student numbers presents lucrative opportunities for local publishers, largely because of little or no publishing capacity among new entrants.

Data from the Uganda Bureau of Statistics shows total enrolment in primary schools rose by about five per cent to 8.4 million pupils in 2010 compared with 7.9 million pupils recorded in 2008.

Secondary school enrolment rose by 12.6 per cent to 1.2 million students compared with 1.08 million students in 2008. The number of universities increased to 32 in 2011 while the overall student population stood at 140,096 during the same period.

“Rising school enrolment has created higher demand for textbooks and other scholastic materials. Our investment in this business will help increase production output in order to meet growing market demand,” said Musa Cheptarus, Fusion’s country manager for Uganda.

Fusion Capital entered Uganda in 2011 and plans to invest $10 million by the end of this year, with half of this devoted to real estate development targeting middle income earners.

Its minimum investment benchmark is $500,000 while the maximum investment limit is $3 million.

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