ARE Member InfraCo Africa and Helios Establish CLEAR – a New Climate-focused Investment Vehicle for Africa
Glasgow, United Kingdom, 4 November 2021 – 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.i 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.”