TPG/Satya invests in TRACE

19 January, 2018

19 January, 2018 – TPG/Satya, the partnership between TPG Growth and Satya Capital (“Satya”) focused on investment in Africa, today announced a definitive agreement to acquire a majority stake in TRACE, the market leader in afro-urban music and entertainment. 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.

Founded in 2003, TRACE is a global multi-platform media and entertainment company that reaches 200 million viewers and listeners across 160 countries. Recognized as the leading youth media brand in Sub-Saharan Africa, TRACE owns and operates 30 digital and mobile services, 21 pay TV channels, and seven FM radio stations. The platform hosts more than 400 concerts, web simulcasts with 360-degree immersive technology, talent search competitions and events across the globe each year.

Trace Africa

Select initiatives include:

  • TRACE Play, a subscription-based streaming service offering live TV, radio, and on-demand programs via desktop, mobile and connected platforms such as Roku and Amazon Fire.
  • TRACE Mobile, a South African mobile virtual network operator, offering more than 2 million consumers unique data, loyalty program and content features.
  • Tailored TV channels available in nine languages, such as TRACE Naija for Nigerian customers, TRACE Mziki, the leading music channel in East Africa, TRACE Toca for Afro-Lusophone fans, TRACE Africa, the leading music channel for Francophone Western Africa and TRACE Urban, the second most watched music channel in France.

“By partnering with TPG/Satya, 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 our investors deep experience with ground-breaking entertainment and technology businesses to launch “Episode 2” of TRACE,” said Olivier Laouchez, co-founder, Chairman, and CEO of TRACE.

“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.”

TPG Growth’s partnership with TRACE highlights the rich opportunities that exist to invest in companies that have a presence in Africa which also operate successfully on a global level.


About Satya Capital

Satya Capital is an independent investment firm focused on providing long-term growth capital to African businesses. The firm partners with entrepreneurs to build world-class companies with regional and pan-regional scope and has the flexibility to back investee companies during all stages of development – from expansion to post-IPO – because its permanent capital base enables it to hold investments without a fixed exit horizon. In particular, Satya will seed investment platforms with a view of creating evergreen holdings in its core sectors. The Satya team works closely with portfolio company management to build a foundation for future growth by developing internal systems, attracting management talent and leveraging its network of deep relationships across Africa. Satya targets investments of between $20m and $150m and invests in a broad range of sectors including: Consumer & Retail, Healthcare, TMT and Financial Services. The Satya team has a rich mix of financial, strategic and investment experience, as well as valuable direct operating experience, most notably through the establishment and growth of Celtel, a pan-African mobile operator.

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About TPG Growth

TPG Growth is the middle market and growth equity investment platform of TPG, the global private investment firm. With more than $7 billion in assets under management and committed capital, TPG Growth targets investments in a broad range of industries and geographies, with a significant focus on the US and emerging markets such as China, India, Brazil and Southeast Asia as well as Africa through its investment partnership with Satya Capital. TPG Growth has the deep sector knowledge, operational resources and global experience to drive value creation and help companies reach their full potential. Backed by the resources of TPG, which has over $74 billion of assets under management, TPG Growth leverages the firm’s sector teams, portfolio companies and network. TPG Growth’s current and past investments represent a mix of disruptive and innovative companies across tech, retail and entertainment including Uber, Airbnb, Box, Domo, Beautycounter, Ride, Angie’s Artisan Treats, Fender, SurveyMonkey, Evolution Media and STX Entertainment, among others. TPG Growth has offices in the United States, China, India and Singapore.

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TRACE is a global multi-platform media and entertainment company that connects with multicultural audiences through premium afro urban music and content across 21 pay TV channels, radios, motion picture, online and mobile services in over 160 countries to 200M viewers and listeners. Launched in 2003, following the acquisition of the print magazine of the same name, TRACE has become the leading media brand for the connected Afro Urban youth in Sub-Saharan Africa, France, the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean.

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