Actis’ Globeleq raises $70m for African projects

The continent’s largest power company will use the financing provided by Standard Bank to grow its 1.2GW power asset base.

South Africa’s Standard Bank has provided a 3-year, $70 million loan facility to Globeleq Africa, a subsidiary of London-based Globeleq Group.

The company, which is fully owned by emerging market private equity firm Actis, intends to use the proceeds to grow its power asset base in Africa.

Launched in 2002, Globeleq has since established operations in 27 countries, with an emphasis on Africa and Latin America. It says it has invested more than $1.3 billion of equity across 44 power projects and that it now has more than 1.2 gigawatts (GW) in operation or under construction in five countries of sub-saharan Africa.

“The funding provision is significant for Globeleq Africa as it marks the first deal with Standard Bank based on Globeleq’s excellent reputational and financial strength. The transaction enables us to add significant capacity to the company’s existing asset base and continues to position Globeleq as the leading private power company in Africa,” said Mikael Karlsson, chief executive of Globeleq, in a statement.

Actis original investment in the business dates back to 2001, three years before the firm spun out from CDC Group, the UK’s private capital development arm. CDC founded the company the following year by contributing capital and a portfolio of power assets to the new enterprise.

The business then divested most of the operating assets in its portfolio, retaining only a number of assets in sub-Saharan Africa. Ownership of the company then transferred to Actis Infrastructure II, a $752 million vehicle closed by the firm in 2008.

In Africa, the Globeleq portfolio currently includes Songas, a gas-fired generation project in Tanzania; Tsavo, a heavy fuel oil-fired power station in Kenya; and Azito, a gas-fired power project in Côte d’Ivoire.

In 2012, Globeleq also won bids for the development of three greenfield renewable projects in South Africa: Jeffreys Bay Wind (138 megawatts), De Aar Solar Power (50 megawatts) and Droogfontein Solar Power (50 megawatts).