Multi-million energy backing for Genser in Ghana and Gabon

A US-headquartered energy company with power stations and pipelines in Ghana and Gabon has received financial banking from Africa50 and a loan from a consortium of banks to increase its capacity.

Africa-focused power generation company Genser Energy, headquartered in Philadelphia and with operations in Ghana and Gabon, has received investment worth USD 366 million in the form of loans from a banking consortium and preference shares from infrastructure investor Africa50.

The backing will support the construction of 170 kilometres of new natural gas pipelines, increased capacity of its plants from 100 MW to 190 MW, the addition of new power lines, the creation of new power purchase agreements (PPAs) and the refinancing of debt. Genser has developed five power plants in Ghana, of which it owns and operates four, and deals in place for two power stations and a pipeline in Gabon.

The president and chief executive of Genser Energy Ghana Ltd (GEGL), Baafour Asiamah-Adjei, said in a statement that the deal “is a transformational transaction for GEGL as it undertakes the expansion of its Ghana operations”.

The loans consisted of a syndicated senior loan facility worth USD 230 million, from Standard Bank, Nedbank, the Development Bank of Southern Africa and Mauritius-based Barak Fund, with the latter also providing a mezzanine loan.

Africa50 head of infrastructure investment Raza Hasnani added: “Genser has been at the forefront of Ghana’s industrialisation by providing high quality and cost-effective power to the natural resources industry. Our partnership will support Genser’s growth and expansion plans. This investment is in line with Africa50’s commitment to support the development of Africa’s natural gas resources and related infrastructure, to help countries produce cleaner power to provide more affordable energy for industrial purposes or household consumption.”

Genser received legal advice on the deal by a London-based team from international law firm Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF), consisting of corporate partner Bayo Odubeko and associate Oji Adoh (since departed for White & Case). Financial advice came from Northcott Capital.

Northcott Capital managing director Cyril Amadi commented that the deal was “one of the largest financings for a Ghanaian private company in international markets”.

Africa50 was founded by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and its ownership is split between the banks and two others, and 28 African countries, of which the most recent to join the consortium was Zimbabwe, earlier this year.

Other Africa50 projects include funding for a road-rail bridge between Democratic Republic of the Congo and Republic of the Congo.

NRF advised private equity investor Helios and the Egyptian-American Enterprise Fund on an Egyptian agribusiness investment earlier this year.

The firm lost the heads of its South African corporate and technology practices to Herbert Smith Freehills in July and a senior risk advisory lawyer to Clyde & Co in August.

August also saw a clothing company that primarily operates in Ghana receive investment from Nigerian investor Verod Capital Management and international energy drink brand Red Bull, and the West African energy sector receive a USD 320 million investment from African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM).

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