On Tuesday, July 31st, the Mauritian financial sector celebrated a historic day. For the first time since the small Indian Ocean nation gained independence in 1968, a Mauritian company was listed on the main board of the London Stock Exchange (LSE). Real estate company Grit, the listed firm, declared: “we are bringing Africa to London.”
Behind the scenes of the historic listing, AXYS, a Mauritian financial services group, acted as the lead transaction adviser for Grit. AXYS’s CEO, Michel Guy Rivalland, says the listing will help Mauritius to be perceived “as a serious player by global finance experts. The next step is for Mauritius to move from being an administration platform to a capital market platform,” observes Rivalland.
The listing encountered its share of hurdles. “The whole process was a great challenge,” says Rivalland. The transaction took almost two years, with AXYS playing a major role in the selection of accounting, legal and real estate valuation companies, and helping to facilitate links between UK and Mauritian service providers.
“Oliver Hare, of AXYS Corporate Advisory, had spent six months in London with his team to accompany Grit on over 100 investor meetings,” remembers Rivalland. “Key personnel of the AXYS team in Mauritius, Dubai and London also provided their utmost commitment on this challenging project.”
Amongst the numerous challenges encountered, Rivalland underscores “complex timing.” Moreover, Grit was already listed both in Mauritius and in Johannesburg, which means that several reporting periods had to be respected. “Thankfully, it all went very smoothly and was a great success,” adds Rivalland.