Strengthening Electricity Distribution in Uganda: The Role of Private Equity

This case describes the preparations and decisions made by Actis, a leading global emerging markets private equity firm, in the lead-up to its partial divestment via an initial public offering (“IPO”) of Umeme Limited (“Umeme”), Uganda’s national electric distribution company. The case describes the challenges encountered by Actis during the seven year period from when it first took over Umeme in 2005, through the years of work to turnaround the company, until 2012 when final preparations for the IPO were underway. To gain approval for the share offering, the Actis deal team had to address a number of issues raised both internally by its own Investment Committee, and externally by a range of local stakeholders, including the Government of Uganda, regulatory bodies, capital market authorities, the public and prospective investors in the offering.