GAIA Infrastructure Capital, an infrastructure investment holding company which started life as a special purpose acquisition vehicle or “SPAC” listed in the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in late 2015, has made its first transaction, acquiring a 25.2% stake in the Dorper Wind Farm in South Africa’s Eastern Cape for approximately $37 million. In concluding the deal, the company’s listing is transferring from a SPAC to the Investment Services sector of the Exchange.
Dorper Wind Farm, which has been fully operational since 2014, has a generating capacity of approximately 98MW which it sells on to state-owned energy provider Eskom through a 20-year power purchase agreement. The wind farm forms part of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Program (REIPPPP) which is managed and coordinated by the country’s Department of Energy.
“Having completed this first transaction, our attention now turns to reviewing other opportunities that are on our radar screen and within our focus on the energy, transport and water and sanitation sectors,” commented Prudence Lebina, GAIA’s CEO.” All potential transactions will be meticulously analyzed to ensure that they meet our stringent investment criteria. These include our requirement for operational or near-operational projects, returns of CPI plus 6% (before fees), predictable cash flows and responsible environmental, social and governance impacts, among others.”
In addition to renewable energy, GAIA targets minority stakes in transport infrastructure, water and sanitation project opportunities in South Africa.