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TPG Growth to acquire African music company TRACE

TPG Growth to acquire African music company TRACE

Growth equity investment platform TPG Growth has announced it has signed an agreement to acquire a majority stake in TRACE, the market leader in afro-urban music and entertainment.

TPG Growth is the middle market and growth equity investment platform of global private investment firm TPG, and has more than US$13 billion of assets under management.

It has now announced it is to acquire - for an undisclosed amount - a majority stake in TRACE, a global multi-platform media and entertainment company that offers premium afro urban music and content across 21 pay-TV channels, radio, motion picture, online and mobile services in over 160 countries to 200 million viewers and listeners.

Launched in 2003, TRACE runs initiatives that include subscription-based streaming service TRACE Play, South African mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) TRACE Mobile, and tailored TV channels available in nine languages, such as TRACE Naija for Nigerian customers and TRACE Mziki, the leading music channel in East Africa.

The remaining stake will be owned by TRACE's co-founder and management team, while TPG Growth will invest alongside Evolution Media and Satya Capital.

As part of the transaction, MTG, a leading international digital entertainment group that invested in TRACE in 2014, will sell its stake in the company. The transaction is subject to standard closing conditions, including regulatory clearance.

"By partnering with TPG Growth, a global investor known for its ability to grow and scale businesses, we are well-positioned to build on our success and accelerate our transformation into the leading global afro-urban digital entertainment group. We will leverage our unique assets and TPG Growth's deep experience with groundbreaking entertainment and technology businesses to launch "Episode 2" of TRACE," said Olivier Laouchez, co-founder, chairman, and CEO of TRACE.

TPG Growth's investments in media and entertainment have included music streaming service Spotify, online makeup subscription and delivery service ipsy, and STX Entertainment, a next-generation motion picture, television, and digital content studio. Current and past investments also include Airbnb, Vice Media, Creative Artists Agency, Cirque du Soleil, and Uber.

"The African music and entertainment industry is dynamic and has experienced huge growth in the last decade, driven by the booming youth population and rapid adoption of digital technology," said Yemi Lalude, managing partner at TPG Africa. "As smartphone penetration on the African continent continues to rise, the way young people consume content is migrating to mobile and digital. We are very excited to help grow the TRACE brand not only in Africa but worldwide."

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