Actis promotes trio to partner

Emerging markets-focused investment group Actis, which remains in negotiations with the UK government over the 40% of the business still owned by state agency DfID, has promoted three of its executives to partner.

Actis has enlarged its partnership pool to 31 with the promotion of three directors – David Grylls, Nick Luckock, and Natalie Kolbe – to partner.

The trio will join a management team that is attempting to strike a deal with the UK government to acquire the 40 percent of the business it does not already own.

UK government agency the Department for International Development holds the stake, which it is seeking to offload. A process began about a year ago, but remains ongoing according to a source with knowledge of the negotiations. Actis declined to comment on the process.

Actis was spun out of the UK state’s development finance institution, CDC Group, in 2004. In a much-criticised deal, the UK state received just £373,000 when it sold 60 percent of the business to its management team. It remains unclear what price it is hoping to achieve for the remaining 40 percent.

Grylls, a member of the firm’s energy sector team, is based in London and is responsible for Actis’ African energy investments including Ememe. He joined Actis in 2007, having worked at one of its portfolio companies since 2003.

Luckock is also London-based, and focuses on financial services. He has worked on a number of investments including those in Indian group IDFX and Brazil-based XP Investimentos. He joined Actis in 2010, having previously worked as a principal at Apax Partners and head of private investments at Cambridge Place Investment Management.

Kolbe is based in Johannesburg, South Africa. She led the firm’s recent acquisition of South African vehicle track-maker Tracker in October, and manages Actis’ investments in Alexander Forbes and Savcio. She is the longest-serving of the trio, having joined Actis in 2003 from Thebe Securities.

All three promotions are effective immediately, the firm said.