The Pembani Remgro Infrastructure Fund has led a group of investors providing the $40 million equity portion of a $90 million debt/equity deal for Lumos Global, an off-grid solar firm operating in Nigeria.
The other investors in the consortium are VLTCM and ICV, both existing stakeholders in Lumos. The Overseas Private Investment Corporation or OPIC is providing $50 million in debt funding helping to make to the funding round the largest ever in Africa’s solar industry. No additional terms of the transaction were disclosed.
According to OPIC’s CEO, Elizabeth Littlefield, only half of Nigeria’s population is connected to the grid, with only 25% having access to a regular, reliable supply of electricity, highlighting the market opportunity. The company’s track record in deploying what he terms “the next generation of smart infrastructure in Africa” was appealing to Pembani Remgro, said their CEO, Herc van Wyk.
The capital will be used to support the expansion of Lumos Global’s operations in Nigeria, and help meet the demand for the company’s solar systems from both retail clients and small businesses as well as community services centers such as hospitals, churches and mosques. The company’s future ambitions include using its Nigerian operation as a springboard for expansion into other countries.
This will be the third investment for the Pembani Remgro Infrastructure Fund which held a $245 million first close in May last year. The two prior investments include the acquisition of a minority stake in ETG, a vertically integrated agriculture logistics and infrastructure supply chain across several sub-Saharan African countries and the establishment of GPR Leasing Africa (GPR), a rail rolling stock leasing joint venture in partnership with Grindrod Freight Services. The terms and conditions for both deals were not released.