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AIIM backs Joule Africa

Cape Town: International power developer, Joule Africa, and leading infrastructure equity investment manager, African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM) have entered into an agreed framework that provides AIIM the opportunity to become a major equity investor in the power projects being developed by Joule Africa.

Joule Africa’s current development interests include the 202MW Bumbuna II hydro-electric project in Sierra Leone (being developed in partnership with Endeavor Energy from the United States) and the Kpep hydro-electric project in Cameroon (being developed in partnership with the Government of Cameroon and Cameroonian developer Bethel Industrievertretung). Joule Africa is also pursuing a 100MW solar PV initiative in Cameroon, under a Memorandum of Understanding signed last year with Cameroon’s Minister of Energy.

AIIM was established in 2000 under the joint ownership of the Macquarie Group and Old Mutual Investment Group (Pty) Ltd. As at 31 December 2014, AIIM has funds under management of USD1.2 billion across five infrastructure funds. The funds managed and advised by AIIM are designed to invest long-term institutional unlisted equity in African infrastructure projects such as power generation, renewable energy, toll roads, ports, pipelines and communication infrastructure assets. AIIM’s flagship pan-African fund, African Infrastructure Investment Fund 2 (AIIF2) has made several strategic investments for the African continent through a successful investment programme. This includes two landmark transactions on the continent, namely Cenpower Generation Company (Cenpower) developing the Kpone IPP in Ghana and Azura IPP in Nigeria.

The Kpone IPP is expected to be the largest IPP in Ghana and will account for approximately 10% of the country’s installed capacity. Cenpower pioneered the first Purchase Power Agreement with the Ghanaian power utility, ECG, which now serves as a model for future IPPs in the country and region. AIIF2 and co-investors hold a 30% economic interest in the project.

Azura IPP is the first limited recourse power project in Nigeria following the power industry restructuring, and upon completion, would make it one of the first IPPs to come online in the country in over a decade. AIIF2 is the lead financial investor in the development consortium.

Jurie Swart, AIIM CEO, commented “Joule Africa’s projects under development represent an attractive opportunity and we are delighted to have the opportunity to back the company. We have a number of strategic partnerships in the infrastructure space including African Clean Energy Developments (ACED), which has created a market-leading platform for the development of renewable energy projects in South Africa, and we believe this agreement with Joule Africa will similarly support the successful development of a pan-African development platform outside of South Africa. We see significant growth within this sector over the coming years and this partnership enables us to collaborate with a developer in the African power market that has a strong pipeline of investable opportunities. We are looking forward to a successful long-term relationship with Joule Africa.”

Andrew Cavaghan, CEO of Joule Africa, commented, “we are excited about this strategic alliance with AIIM, an established and respected investor in the African infrastructure market, with the capacity to underpin the equity we will be investing in our projects. We believe that they provide the right fit for us to execute on the growing pipeline of projects which we have in development. We very much look forward to working together.”

The transaction was arranged by the corporate finance team of London-based African Alpha Investment Partners.