Intense operational focus
As an investment holding company, diversified across five key economic sectors in nine countries, we are uniquely positioned to realise the exciting opportunities Africa, our home continent, presents. We control over 80% of our holdings and are intensely operationally focused. Our management team has spent decades operating in challenging business environments, bringing the experience, networks and cultural insight required to incubate, turnaround and scale companies.
As an employer in some of the world’s poorest countries we take our social and environmental responsibilities very seriously, investing heavily in the implementation, monitoring and reviewing of Environmental and Social Management. We believe good governance starts at home so we operate according to the most rigorous, transparent governance structures.
WE PLACE LONG-TERM AMBITION OVER SHORT-TERM GAINS
The Maris Africa Fund was established in 2009 by Charlie Tryon, Andrew Fimister and Coco Ferguson, all of whom had worked extensively in frontier market operations. Drawing on their commercial expertise and networks in Africa they identified a number of interesting early stage opportunities in South Sudan and Kenya. They established 4 companies, with strong operating partners, which was the start of our portfolio that now spans 11 countries and 19 companies.
Between 2010 and 2014 Maris Africa made 14 investments in seven countries and doubled the value of the portfolio. We then initiated a conversation with investors about how to capitalise on our first-mover advantage and the potential of the strong teams and partnerships we had developed.
We felt the typical private equity fund cycle was at odds with our wider, long-term objectives and restricted the potential for greater synergy between our businesses. As a result we restructured in 2014, registering Maris Limited as a Permanent Capital Vehicle in Mauritius. A rights issue raised $40m and allowed original shareholders to exit if they wished. Those who exited received up to a 2x their original investment within 5 years of investing and a net IRR of 31%.
SINCE MOVING TO A PERMANENT CAPITAL VEHICLE MODEL IN 2014, WE HAVE INCREASED NAV AND SIGNIFICANTLY OUTPERFORMED STOCK MARKETS.