InfraCo Africa Becomes Shareholder In InfraCredit

‘AAA’ rated specialised local currency infrastructure credit guarantee institution, InfraCredit, on Thursday announced the completion of a US$27m equity investment by InfraCo Africa, a member of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG).

The investment, through its dedicated investment vehicle, makes InfraCo Africa an equivalent shareholder alongside the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) and Africa Finance Corporation.

The new equity stake increases InfraCredit’s total capital base (paid-in and callable capital to $173m (c. NGN 68.3 billion), translating to an aggregate guarantee issuing capacity of up to NGN 342 Billion (c. US$ 865  million) based on its current maximum capital leverage ratio of up to 5x allowable by its rating agencies.

Following the investment, Gilles Vaes and Claire Jarratt, Chief Executive of InfraCo Africa, and Chief Investment Officer of InfraCo Africa respectively, will join InfraCredit’s board.

The statement by Infra-Credit quoted Vaes as saying the “investment in InfraCredit marks the first major transaction of our dedicated investment vehicle, InfraCo Africa Investments.

“The infrastructure financing gap in Africa is large and requires approaches that increase the scale and pace of infrastructure development and we are therefore pleased to support PIDG’s wider strategy of developing local capital markets to unlock vital infrastructure finance.

He continued, “InfraCredit’s innovative model promotes capital flows from Nigerian institutional investors into local infrastructure developments. We are confident that this partnership will leverage the unique skills, experience and expertise offered by InfraCo Africa to support InfraCredit in underpinning projects that will create jobs, reduce poverty and promote economic growth in Nigeria,” he stressed.

Given the adverse impact of the COVID 19 pandemic on the Nigerian economy, InfraCo Africa’s investment will engender confidence in InfraCredit’s credit standing, enhancing its ability to continue to increase private sector financing for infrastructure projects in key sectors such as healthcare, transport and logistics, power, renewable energy and agriculture, amongst others.

Chinua Azubike, the CEO of InfraCredit, while welcoming InfraCredit to the board expressed pleasure to welcome InfraCo Africa, a respected and highly experienced infrastructure investor, as an equity investor and stakeholder of InfraCredit, in pursuit of our mission and strategic growth.

“The timely completion of this equity issuance further bolsters our balance sheet and reinforces InfraCredit’s strong fundamentals and ability to deliver shareholder value. We believe this equity investment marks a significant milestone and inflection point for InfraCredit in unlocking more infrastructure investments that will stimulate economic growth and market development. With the economic impact of COVID 19, our essentiality in deepening the domestic bond market and mobilising private capital for infrastructure investments has never been more timely and important than it is today, as the Nigerian economy shifts towards recovery.”

GuarantCo and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) established the Nigerian Infrastructure Credit Enhancement Facility (InfraCredit) in 2017 with support from PIDG Technical Assistance. InfraCredit was established to act as a market champion for the development of the local debt capital markets and to mobilise long-term investment from local institutional investors (e.g. pension funds, insurance companies) and finance infrastructure projects in Nigeria in local currency.