IBL Energy Holdings Ltd (IBL Energy), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the IBL Group, the largest conglomerate in Mauritius, has announced that it is the lead investor of a consortium that has signed an agreement to acquire a majority stake in Equator Energy Ltd (Equator Energy), a top commercial and industrial solar operator in East Africa. The consortium's partner is STOA, an impact fund established by Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (CDC) and Agence Française de Développement (AFD). The completion of the transaction is contingent upon certain conditions precedent, including obtaining relevant regulatory approvals and fulfilling all legal requirements.
Equator Energy operates the most significant commercial and industrial solar power portfolio in East Africa, primarily in Kenya and Uganda, with smaller operations in Zimbabwe, Somalia, Gambia, and South Sudan. They provide fully integrated renewable energy systems, offering solutions ranging from simple grid-tied systems to solar-diesel hybrid systems to fully autonomous off-grid systems. Their management and technical teams are headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, and they have maintenance teams throughout Kenya and their other jurisdictions. Since its establishment in 2016, Equator Energy has exhibited strong and sustained growth, with its portfolio presently standing at 35MW of solar plants in operation.
This investment in Equator Energy aligns with IBL's 'Beyond Borders' expansion strategy, which witnessed the group completing an equity investment into Naivas, the leading supermarket chain in Kenya, and approving (subject to conditions) a further equity investment in Harley's, one of the top medical and pharmaceutical distributors in Kenya.
Arnaud Lagesse, Group CEO of IBL, stated, "When we formulated our strategy in 2021, we recognized renewable energy as a sector with significant opportunities to deepen our presence in the African market. Driven by a culture of excellence, IBL Group aims to provide solutions structured around renewable energy, energy savings, and the reuse of waste. Equator Energy offers simple and integrated solutions in emerging markets where solar energy has added value, and this partnership is aligned with our objective of being a pioneer in the energy transition."
Sebastian Noethlichs, CEO and Founder of Equator Energy said, "We are delighted to announce that IBL and STOA are becoming shareholders in Equator Energy. Their expertise, capabilities, and industry experience will bolster Equator Energy's growth trajectory. With their support, we are confident in our ability to deliver even more innovative solar solutions to our existing base of over 100 customers, as well as to expand our reach to new customers in the future. This investment by IBL and STOA is a testament to their confidence in our team, our customers, and our markets, and we are honoured to have their support."
Marie-Laure Mazaud, CEO of STOA, stated, "We are delighted to support the exceptional growth undertaken by Equator Energy. Within a few years, the company has managed to build a very strong portfolio of operating assets together with an impressive pipeline of very happy customers. Being an impact fund, STOA is very proud to see that our investment will provide the affordable electricity needed to continue the industrialization of our core countries of focus in Sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, the renewable energy generated will help Kenya and the other countries in their goals to increase their generation capacities with clean electricity."