Havila Partners announce the opening of 4 Pro’s in Africa

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Havila Partners, a Corporate Finance company with “Partner Representative Offices” (“PROs”) in Brussels, Paris and Geneva, announces the imminent opening of its first two “PROs” in the ECCAS zone in Pointe-Noire (Congo) and in the ECOWAS zone in Cotonou (Benin).

The company takes this opportunity to announce forthcoming openings with local partners in Yaoundé (Cameroon) and Abidjan (Ivory Coast).

The Cotonou office will be run by Bertrand Heyraud.

It will be a base for operations in the neighbouring countries, Nigeria and Togo.

Bertrand Heyraud will bring with him his long industrial experience of working on projects with European groups looking to develop in these countries.

The Pointe-Noire office will be run by Pierre-Louis Amancic as the main office for the ECCAS zone.

Pierre Louis Amancic, a Founder Managing Partner of Havila Partners, explains this new stage in the company’s development:

Can you explain your strategy for the African continent?

The basic principle is the same as the one that has been driving the company for 16 years now: all our services are focused on entrepreneurs and their desire to develop their business.

At a time when everyone is looking towards the African continent, we’re seeing that medium-sized European companies are having real difficulty in penetrating these markets. The determination is there, but we’re seeing a lack of strategy, means and, more generally, a clear vision of the opportunities and the methods to be used to set up operations.
Companies looking to become involved in these markets need to think in terms of African development. We’re not in the business of conquest or reconquest: we’re in a partnership aimed at making a practical contribution to the development of the African economies. It’s essential to take up this position and have this mindset if you’re to run any form of start-up project with any success.

We’ve been appointed quite quickly by companies who share these convictions, and even by much larger groups, to help them with their start-up or development strategy and goals.

How do you intervene in practical terms?

We intervene at three strategic levels, depending on our clients’ needs:

- The market approach, helping them first of all to start up their sales development at a distance through our close knowledge of the local situation. This may, for, example, take the form of a local partnership.
- Equity financing operations follow on quite quickly, either to help them establish themselves and set up their production or service facilities, or through the acquisition of a targeted company or an equity stake. We also organize Joint Ventures with local companies involved in businesses linked to those of our clients in order to broaden the offer.
- Finally, we assist in setting up debt financing with local and international banks to cover the debt part of the acquisition or operational and equipment financing.

We enjoy excellent relations with major investment funds and are in discussions relating to setting up special partnerships with certain funds in particular sectors.

Which sectors do you specialize in?

Mainly in 7 sectors:

- Agri-food industry (at every level: from production of basic ingredients to distribution)
- I.T. and Networks
- Distribution
- Transport
- Building
- Hotels and Catering
- Services

We may perhaps cover two other sectors, but it’s too soon to talk about this.
We’re already very busy with the above and have a good number of contracts and missions.

Why choose to develop in Africa?

Firstly because it is, by all accounts, the great market of “tomorrow morning” but also the market of “today”!

A developing Africa expects openness and fairness from the rest of the world. Today, it has a promising new generation of businessmen with exacting standards and leaders with every right to be ambitious. They are all involved in choosing partners with great care for the continent’s growth phase.

Havila Partners is committed to this strategy, with an active local approach and ethically-based activities.

We must also be clear about this: Africa is currently attracting a lot of people; not all of them are aware of the issues and are using inappropriate methods, which is why, from a pragmatic point of view, we must have a local presence.

Are you considering widening your presence in terms of geographical cover?

You can no longer claim to intervene on the African continent if you’re not established there. You can’t run a start-up or development policy solely from offices in Europe, which is why it’s essential to have both a local presence and sound geographical cover.

We think along sub-regional lines:
- Cotonou will be a base for operating in Togo and Nigeria.
- Abidjan will, at a later stage, be the ideal springboard for Ghana, regardless of the fact that the Ivory Coast is important in itself in terms of expectations.
- Pointe Noire is a veritable hub and will be a central point for us with the DRC, Gabon, Angola and the CAR as neighbours.
- Yaoundé will also enable us to intervene in Equatorial Guinea, which is of interest to us.

NKP House
93/95 Borough High Street
SE1 1NL London
United Kingdom
Tel +44 (20) 7939 0409
Follow us on:
Twitter: @havilapartners
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/havilapartners

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