Glasgow, United Kingdom: InfraCo Africa, part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) and Helios Investment Partners (Helios) are working together to establish a pan-African investment vehicle: Climate, Energy Access and Resilience (CLEAR). CLEAR will fund climate-aligned infrastructure and growth businesses whilst also working towards achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The initiative will address the growing demand from domestic and international investors for sustainable investment opportunities that can help to close the infrastructure and productivity gap in Africa which would support communities that are susceptible to the impacts of climate change.
InfraCo Africa’s CEO, Gilles Vaes, set out the company’s ambitions: “We have long been aware of the disconnect between available capital and investor interest in African infrastructure, and the quantity of bankable, high-quality projects for these investors to invest into.” He continued, “With our market-leading African infrastructure expertise, Helios and InfraCo Africa are excited to launch a vehicle which will enable investors to feel confident in the environmental credentials and likely returns of their investments. CLEAR will also provide an opportunity for project developers to exit their projects, recycling their development finance and accelerating access to inclusive, clean
infrastructure for Africa’s growing population.”
The new investment vehicle, with a pan-African mandate, will leverage a robust pipeline of projects and growth businesses from InfraCo Africa and Helios across three core themes: clean energy and the energy transition, green transportation and mobility, and sustainable growth and consumption. It expects to ultimately raise more than US$350m for investment into sustainable infrastructure and businesses which will provide at least 100,000 new jobs, connect more than 1 million people to power for the first time and avoid 100m tonnes of carbon emissions. It is anticipated that CLEAR will initially be established as a private vehicle but designed and capitalised with a view to listing the vehicle within 3 years of final close.
Babatunde Soyoye, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Helios, explained, “Since inception, Helios has been a pioneer in mobilising institutional capital for African businesses, including through equity and debt offerings on international and local exchanges. We believe the African continent holds tremendous opportunities for growth with impact driven by demographic growth and rapid urbanisation. We are excited to partner with InfraCo Africa on CLEAR to catalyse institutional capital for climate aligned projects and businesses at scale in Africa which we hope will make a significant
contribution to delivering sustainable economic growth.”
The announcement came as part of a UK government event hosted in Glasgow on Finance Day of the UN’s COP26 Summit. The event enabled investment and policy communities to learn more about the Mobilising Institutional Capital Through Listed Product Structures (MOBILIST) competition run by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) whilst exploring the market challenges and solutions to financing climate-smart infrastructure in emerging markets.
FCDO’s Rachel Turner, Director, International Finance said “Our flagship MOBILIST competition was designed to mobilise large scale investment flows through publicly ‘listed’ markets. Catalysing new listed products will transform the way development capital flows between emerging, frontier and global markets.” She continued, “MOBILIST is part of the UK government’s efforts to accelerate progress towards meeting the international community’s commitment to contribute $100 billion per annum to support the net zero pathways of developing countries.”
InfraCo Africa and Helios have reached the final stages of the MOBILIST competition and representatives from the two companies joined four other financial institutions at the event.
Speaking after the event Philippe Valahu, CEO of PIDG, concluded: “We are grateful for the support we have received to date from FCDO, through the MOBILIST programme, for our vision of a climatefocused investment vehicle dedicated to Africa which would mobilise institutional capital from both private and public markets for its investment projects and businesses. We look forward to continuing to work together as we develop this exciting new market offering over the coming months.”
Notes to Editors
• Developing economies need over $2.5 trillion annually to achieve the global Sustainable Development Goals.
• Under the terms of the Paris Agreement, the international community committed to mobilise $100 billion of climate finance annually to support developing countries in their respective pathways to net zero, a target that has yet to be realised.
• In February 2021 FCDO launched Mobilising Institutional Capital Through Listed Product Structures (MOBILIST), a public competition to engage financial institutions in a search for the best sustainable infrastructure proposals that could list either on the London Stock Exchange or local exchanges.
• FCDO’s work on mobilisation includes programmes with and through the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), Development Finance Institutions (in particular CDC and the multilateral Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG)). It also includes financial sector programmes such as Financial Sector Deepening Africa (FSDA).
• Both sponsors have market-leading African credentials:
o Helios: With $3.6 billion AuM, Helios is a pioneering investment firm, founded and led by Africans; with 17 years of experience, the firm has made investments in 32 companies operating in over 35 countries across the continent and has a strong record of generating growth with impact while advancing the development of African capital markets. The
firm’s portfolio includes several companies at the forefront of delivering clean energy and enabling decarbonisation across Africa. Helios, a B Corp-certified firm, is a signatory to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI), and a supporter of the UN SDGs and the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosure.
o InfraCo Africa (a PIDG company): A leading co-developer in Africa with an existing pipeline of 27 renewable power (on and off-grid), transport, logistics and social infrastructure projects. Alongside a robust pipeline, InfraCo Africa brings significant operational and technical knowledge of high-quality green and ESG-focused asset management. Through the PIDG group, it is also a supporter of the UN SDGs and signed up to the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosure.
• ThirdWay Partners, an impact focused investment advisory firm, is supporting Helios and InfraCo Africa.
The Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG): The Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) is an innovative infrastructure project developer and investor which mobilises private investment in sustainable and inclusive infrastructure in sub-Saharan Africa and south and south-east Asia. PIDG investments promote socio-economic development within a just transition to net zero emissions, combat poverty and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
PIDG delivers its ambition in line with its values of opportunity, accountability, safety, integrity and impact.
Since 2002, PIDG has supported 171 infrastructure projects to financial close which provided an estimated 217 million people with access to new or improved infrastructure. PIDG is funded by the governments of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Australia, Sweden, Germany and the IFC. For more information visit www.pidg.org.
InfraCo Africa: InfraCo Africa is part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG). InfraCo Africa seeks to alleviate poverty by mobilising private investment into high-quality infrastructure projects in sub-Saharan Africa’s poorest countries. It addresses the risks and costs of early-stage project development: funding teams of experienced developers and providing risk capital to those projects which need the financial commitment and leverage that InfraCo Africa can bring. InfraCo Africa is funded by the governments of the United Kingdom (through FCDO), the Netherlands (through DGIS) and Switzerland (through SECO). For more information please visit: www.infracoafrica.com
Helios Investment Partners: Established in 2004, Helios Investment Partners is the largest Africa focused private investment firm, with a record that spans creating start-ups to providing expanding companies with growth capital and expertise. The firm is led and managed by a predominantly African team based in London, Paris, Lagos and Nairobi, with the language skills and cultural affinity to engage with local entrepreneurs, managers and intermediaries on the continent. Helios leverages its local and global networks to create attractive proprietary investment opportunities, with an emphasis on building market leaders in core economic sectors and driving performance through a highly engaged
approach to portfolio operations. The firm’s unique combination of a deep knowledge of the African operating environment, a singular commitment to the region and a proven capability to manage complexity, is reflected in its diverse portfolio of growing, market-leading businesses and its position as a partner of choice in Africa. Helios is the largest emerging markets-focused private equity firm, and second mainstream private equity firm globally, to receive B Corp certification. B Corp status recognizes the firm’s long-standing commitment to sustainability and responsible business practices. For more information please visit: www.heliosinvestment.com
UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO): FCDO pursues the UK’s national interests and seeks to project the UK as a force for good in the world. FCDO promotes the interests of British citizens, safeguards the UK’s security, defends its values, reduces poverty and tackles global challenges alongside international partners. For more information please visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/foreign-commonwealth-development-office
ThirdWay Partners: ThirdWay Partners was established by a team of investors and entrepreneurs with over 75 years of combined experience in corporate finance, strategy consulting, international private equity and capital markets, together with a long business rack record in Africa. For more information please visit: https://www.thirdwayafrica.com/