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Investec-Backed Energy Fund Plans $102 Million South Africa IPO

Investec-Backed Energy Fund Plans $102 Million South Africa IPO

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Revego Africa Energy Fund, an investor in South African renewable projects, is looking to raise as much as 1.5 billion rand ($102 million) by April with the industry poised to grow.

The fund is backed by Investec Ltd., the Eskom Pension & Provident Fund and UK Climate Investment and is seeking to list on Johannesburg’s stock exchange, according to Revego Fund Managers Chief Investment Officer Michael Meeser.

“We have already identified assets equal to that value and have actually signed purchase agreements,” he said.

The listing may come as South Africa starts to accept bids from independent energy producers to help ease the burden on state-owned utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., which struggles to meet the country’s electricity demand. The government is committed to buy an additional 11,800 megawatts of power from various sources, President Cyril Ramaphosa reiterated this month.

The emergence of funds such as Revego indicates there is a market for realized renewable projects in South Africa, even after a state program that was once the fastest-growing in the world stalled under former President Jacob Zuma. He was latterly more interested in a pursuit of nuclear power, though the strategy never got off the ground.

Revego plans to pay dividends and wants to see its assets generate enough income to fund expansion, according to Meeser. The company will target inflows from investors seeking to do business with Black-owned firms in South Africa, taking advantage of government policies to help reverse the impact of racial segregation that ended in 1994.

“Things are picking up” in the sector, Meeser said. If South Africa is able to commit to longer timelines and give detail on required capacity, it could give more visibility to international companies and boost local manufacturing, he said.

Revego wants to own a wide range of renewable projects to help reduce the fund’s risk. The company holds stakes in South African wind and solar power projects and is anticipating opportunities across sub-Saharan Africa, where nations such as Kenya and Tanzania are also investing in renewable-energy programs.

Source: Bloomberg
Anand Gupta Editor - EQ Int'l Media Network