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Editor's note: The Streetwise newsletter will resume after the holidays on Wednesday, Jan. 4.

Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. is plotting more growth in Africa with plans to launch a new public company that would invest in the continent's businesses, according to people familiar with the plans.

The Toronto-based insurance and investment firm is set to file on Friday a prospectus for an initial public offering for Fairfax Africa Holdings Corp. amid a dearth of new offerings this year. The company is seeking to raise as much as $1-billion. Fairfax has already secured about $500-million from cornerstone investors and its own funds, the sources said.

Subordinate voting shares in Fairfax Africa will be made available for $10 (U.S.) a piece in the IPO. A Fairfax subsidiary will take on the role of portfolio manager and will bring on a local partner to do investment research and help find potential deals, those people said.

Fairfax Africa plans to embark on an investment safari, putting money into a wide range of businesses in pockets of the continent where gross domestic product growth is forecast to be swift. A recent study of economic growth in Africa done by the World Bank Group indicated that some countries, such as Ethiopia, Rwanda and Tanzania, are growing at annual average rates of more than 6 per cent, although not all countries have posted such gains. Story


Acasta is using all of its connections to get Canada's first successful SPAC deal over the finish line this week. The Acasta team should take satisfaction from closing a complex transaction that will see them launch a $1.1-billion company. Story


Andrew Willis: Ottawa builds a bridge for infrastructure investment. Story

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