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    Mauritius' IBL buys Kenyan solar firm Equator Energy

    March 23, 2023 - Business Daily


       Mauritian firm IBL Group has bought an undisclosed stake in Kenyan-based solar power firm Equator Energy Limited in a deal that deepens its presence in the local economy.IBL says it has entered into a share purchase agreement as part of a consortium-- for the acquisition of a majority stake in Equator Energy.

      The firm said it is the lead investor in a deal that involved STOA S.A, an impact fund, as a financial co-investor.

      Equator Energy has a presence in Kenya, Uganda, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Gambia and South Sudan and has about 35 megawatts of solar installations under its management.The deal follows the mid-February announcement in which IBL bought an undisclosed stake in a Nairobi-based pharmaceuticals distributor, Harley's, underlining its rapid investments in Kenya.

      IBL last year also acquired a 26.32 percent stake in supermarket chain Naivas Limited for $100 million (Sh13 billion), also as part of a consortium. Read:Mauritian firm eyes more buyouts after Naivas dealThe quick succession of deal-making signals IBL's aggressive move to expand its portfolio in the local and regional market that is among the major economic growth hubs in Africa.

      IBL Group chief executive Arnaud Lagesse said the Equator deal will allow the conglomerate to implement solutions structured around renewable energy, energy savings and the reuse of waste."As Equator Energy provides simple and integrated solutions in emerging markets where solar energy has added value, this partnership is aligned with our aim to be a pioneer in the energy transition," said Mr Lagesse.

      Equator started in 2016 and provides fully integrated renewable energy systems, with its solutions ranging from simple grid-tied systems to solar-diesel hybrid systems and to fully autonomous off-grid systems.Its management and technical team is headquartered in Nairobi and has maintenance teams spread out in the markets it serves.

      The completion of the transaction is subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions including getting relevant regulatory approvals and the satisfaction of all legal requirements.The conglomerate established an office in Nairobi to lead its search for buyout opportunities as part of its strategy to expand in East Africa.

      Kenya has drawn increased interest from more Mauritius-based firms, attracted by the country's economic growth and its status as a regional trade and logistics hub.Read:Mauritian firms start taking stakes in Transmara SugarMauritian conglomerate Rogers Group recently disclosed it has acquired Rongai Workshop and Transport Limited through one of its subsidiaries Velogic Logistics as part of its regional expansion strategy.



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