Vantage Capital provides $47.5m of mezzanine funding for Centum’s Two Rivers International Finance & Innovation Centre

Johannesburg, South Africa – Vantage Capital, Africa’s largest mezzanine fund manager, has provided $47.5m of mezzanine funding for Two Rivers International & Innovation Centre (TRIFIC SEZ), a first of its kind services-oriented business park in a special economic zone located within the prestigious diplomatic blue zone of Nairobi, Kenya. The promoter of the transaction is Centum Investment Company PLC (Centum), a Nairobi Stock Exchange-listed investment group established in 1967, with interests spanning real estate, energy, industrial operations, technology, media, telecommunications, and financial services. Centum boasts a strong track record of delivering significant real estate projects, including Two Rivers Mall, and has completed over 2,000 residential units in Kenya and Uganda.

TRIFIC SEZ aims to create an integrated business environment, offering world-class infrastructure, advanced technology, and a robust regulatory framework. It is designed to provide businesses with a competitive edge on a global scale, leveraging Kenya’s SEZ tax incentives. Businesses operating within TRIFIC SEZ will benefit from VAT zero-rating, import and stamp duty exemptions, and a reduced corporate tax rate of 10% for the first 10 years of operations.

Vantage’s investment will facilitate the acquisition and renovation of a 14,975 sqm office tower, as well as the development of two Grade A office towers with a combined gross leasable area of 76,800 sqm. A key attraction for TRIFIC SEZ tenants will be direct access to the wider Two Rivers precinct ecosystem, which includes residential developments, dining and lifestyle options, retail offerings, and entertainment venues, all curated by Centum to enhance the work environment for businesses and their employees.

Warren van der Merwe, Managing Partner at Vantage Capital, said “We are proud to partner with Centum on this remarkable project, which will generate hundreds of jobs and attract much-needed foreign direct investment to Kenya.”

Roshal Ramdenee, Associate Partner at Vantage Capital, added “We are excited to partner with Centum on the development of the TRIFIC SEZ. From our interactions with the Centum team, we have been impressed by their deep real estate expertise and commitment to attracting businesses to Kenya by effectively marketing its favourable operating environment. We are confident that TRIFIC SEZ will play a key role in enhancing Kenya’s competitiveness as a premier investment destination on the continent.”

James Mworia, CEO at Centum added “We are very pleased with the partnership and investment by Vantage Capital which will catalyse TRIFIC SEZ and enable it to provide world class facilities to  SEZ enterprises. These SEZ enterprises will in turn create thousands of new jobs for Kenya, attract foreign direct investment and spur significant export revenues to the benefit of our country.”

This transaction represents Vantage Capital’s 37th investment across four generations of funds with its portfolio of investments spread across eleven African countries.

Werksmans (in South Africa) and Bowmans (in Kenya) acted as legal counsel for Vantage. Other advisors to the transaction included JLL, PWC Kenya, Turner & Townsend, Webber Wentzel, and IBIS Consulting.