New Sparta Energy names initial senior trio

Formed in May, the unit helmed by William Barry aims to capture the premium generated through de-risking African renewables projects.

New Sparta Asset Management has hired three senior staff as it puts its newest subsidiary in motion.

The wholly-owned unit, dubbed New Sparta Energy, was established last May with managing director William Barry at its head. It will target African power with a focus on early-stage renewables projects.

Like Barry, director and head of development David Anson comes from Sub-Saharan Africa-focused developer eleQtra, where he was regional manager in charge of Southern African project development and investment. Prior to this he served more than 20 years with power group AES Corporation, where he held various positions in Africa, Europe and Asia, covering development and power project finance.

Project director Richard Scott joins from developer Joule Africa. He has 14 years of project development and financing experience, focused largely on emerging markets. Prior to Joule, where he was mainly working on hydro power projects in West Africa, he was at private equity firm Berkeley Energy.

NSE has also hired Camille Astier as legal director, a leveraged finance, emerging markets and cross-border transaction specialist. Most recently she was the general counsel at the African Renewable Energy Fund.

“It is clear that private investors are beginning to understand the advantages of investing in renewable and conventional energy in Africa and are clamouring for access to bankable projects in the sector,” Barry commented.

NSE has not yet disclosed plans regarding the launch of potential fund or separate account products, citing regulatory constraints in a recent interview with Infrastructure Investor. The firm will seek projects ranging between $30 million and $100 million in total cost, aiming for IRRs of 16-20 percent.