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Absa’s expertise powers the continent

Absa’s expertise powers the continent
22-03-23 / Shelly Nxumalo

Absa’s expertise powers the continent

Johannesburg - In another landmark deal in the South African energy sector, Absa Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB) provided advisory services and financing for Infinity Power Holding’s acquisition of Lekela Power.

Established in 2020, Infinity Power is a joint venture between Egypt’s Infinity Group and Masdar (Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company) which targets, solar and wind power generation, on utility as well as commercial and industrial scale, in Egypt and Africa. Infinity Group’s key stakeholders also include Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

Lekela Power with activities in South Africa, Senegal, Egypt, and Ghana was being sold by Actis and Mainstream Renewable Power. This acquisition of 2.8GW of wind power assets in operation and development will see Infinity Power become the largest renewable energy provider in Africa.

Absa CIB acted as Debt and Joint M&A Advisor on the transaction. Additionally, we acted as sole Mandated Lead Arranger on the ZAR Acquisition Financing Facility and joint Mandated Lead Arranger on the USD Acquisition Financing Facility.

The transaction was recognised by industry participants as being “market-defining” and was the winner of the “Catalyst Private Equity Deal of the Year 2022” at the Ansarada DealMakers Annual Gala Awards in February 2023. 

The multi-product client solution encompassing the three pillars of our investment banking franchise – financing, capital raising and advisory services – was made possible by our deep industry insight into the renewable energy sector, pan-African multi-jurisdictional financing expertise, experience in executing large and complex deals, as well as our leadership in advising international businesses on acquisitions in Africa.

Hasnen Varawalla, Managing Director and Co-Head of Investment Banking Origination for Absa Securities United Kingdom said: “Absa is privileged to have advised and financed Infinity Power on the acquisition of the pan-African Lekela Power renewable energy portfolio in the largest ever transaction of its kind in the sector, on the continent.”

Mohamed Ismail Mansour, Chairman, Infinity Power said: “Having successfully finalized the Lekela acquisition, we will build upon this milestone to reach our target of installing and operating 2 GW of greenfield projects by 2025. With this transaction, we have delivered on the promise made during COP27 of being the fastest-growing renewable energy company in Africa. We continue to drive efforts that reduce carbon emissions, increase renewable energy sources, and develop efficient energy solutions for the entire region, in order to achieve our vision of providing clean, reliable and affordable electricity access to people in underserved communities across Africa.”

Varawalla concluded: “This transaction underscores our commitment to promoting sustainability in the energy sector and attracting international investment into Africa.  We wish Infinity Power and its partners continued success in the future”.

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