EISER wins Africa mandate, eyes new office

The London-based fund manager is planning to open a branch office in Johannesburg, having been awarded an African renewable energy advisory contract.

EISER Infrastructure Partners (EISER), the London-based fund manager, has been appointed as investment adviser to Green Africa Power (GAP), with responsibility for originating, executing and managing projects eligible for funding.

GAP is an investment vehicle created to promote the development of renewable power generation in Africa. It has £98 million (€124 million; $168 million) of initial funding from the UK government’s Department for International Development (DFID) and Department for Energy & Climate Change (DECC). It is hoping to attract further funding from other development finance institutions.

GAP, brainchild of the donor-financed Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), will offer long-term loans and contingent lines of credit to privately-owned renewable power generation projects in Africa’s most under-developed countries. The vehicle will invest alongside commercial lenders and equity investors.

“We are moving into an area where there is a lack of this sort of finance, and we hope our financing will assist and catalyse the development of the market,” EISER partner Vivian Nicoli told Infrastructure Investor.

GAP expects to start deploying capital in the fourth quarter of this year and plans to commit all funds currently raised within the next three years.

Nicoli said that EISER had been awarded the mandate following a formal procurement process under European Union (EU) procurement rules and will receive both fees and success-based compensation. The firm has a five-year contract along with Camco Clean Energy, a South African renewable energy specialist, for fund management advice and related services.

Adding that EISER was keen to look at opportunities in Africa, Nicoli said the firm is planning to open a branch office in Johannesburg in the near future. EISER is in advanced discussions, she said, with respect to two new hires in Johannesburg and one in London.

Nicoli said the Africa move was opportunistic and not directly related to EISER’s decision earlier this year to adopt a managed account focus – rather than traditional fundraising focus – in Europe.

“Africa is very interesting but it’s a different opportunity and a different model to Europe, which remains our home market,” she pointed out.