Jo-Maré Duddy - The Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (Namfisa) is busy finalising the deregistration of Baobab Capital Pty Ltd and the Baobab Growth Fund, an unlisted Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) in which, among others, the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) has invested millions.
In a notice published in the media, Namfisa told the public “not to engage in any unlisted activities” with both Baobab Capital and the Baobab Growth Fund.
“The public is invited to submit any possible claims relating to unlisted investment activities rendered by the above-mentioned entities to the Registrar of Pension Funds,” Namfisa said, adding that all claims should be admitted on or before 16 October 2020.
The chief executive officer of the GIPF, David Nuyoma, told Market Watch that the Fund “will respond in due course”.
According to the GIPF’s latest integrated annual report on its website, the Fund had about N$61.2 million invested in Baobab Capital on 31 March 2019, up from around N$22.3 million at the end of March 2018.
“The Baobab Growth Fund is an unlisted SPV structured as a company. The fund is the GIPF’s only venture capital fund targeting start-up businesses. The fund has to date invested into Dore pharmaceuticals and various payments and technology firms,” according to the report.
The founder of Baobab Capital, Jerome Kisting, told Market Watch that investors’ money was “absolutely safe”.
Kisting said Baobab is busy filing an appeal against Namfisa’s decision, but wouldn’t elaborate on the grounds thereof.
On its website, Boabab describes itself as “an Africa-focused alternative investment firm”.
“Baobab Capital is an alternative investment manager that invests in early stage businesses in Southern Africa, growing them into medium and large-scale enterprises, through its three funds,” the company says.