Investec in Gabon deal

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Investec Asset Management (IAM) has backed a debt investment round into a Gabon-based infrastructure company Gabon Special Economic Zone (GSEZ).

The investor is investing €40 million worth of debt into GSEZ, and is also the mandated lead arranger on the tranche. The Investec note has a 15-year tenor with an undisclosed coupon and matures in 2034.

African Development Bank (AfDB) is also injecting €40 million worth of debt into GSEZ – as part of the round.

IAM is structuring the deal through the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), which it manages. EAIF is a closed-ended permanent capital fund, anchored by donor equity and private capital markets debt.

The capital will fund the development of the Gabon Special Economic Zone Ports (GSEZ Ports), which will include the construction of bulk and liquid cargo and container traffic terminals.

Total cost of the project is estimated at $341.7 million (€305 million) and is expected to be financed by 75% shareholder equity. Financial close for the project was achieved in July 2019.

GSEZ is a joint venture owned by Singapore-based Olam International with a 40.5% stake and Gabonese Caisse des Depots et Consignations (CDC) owned by the Republic of Gabon with a 38.5% stake.

The remaining 21% is held by the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC).

“We are proud to be involved in Gabon’s drive to strengthen its industrial base, build employment and skills and create a more broadly-based economy,” said Emilio Cattaneo, executive director at EAIF. “GSEZ Ports is a powerful example of public and private capital working in partnership to create a development that will benefit Gabon for decades to come.”

Located in Libreville, GSEZ Ports will be a four million tonnes general cargo per annum port, with a 500 meters main berth.

GSEZ Ports is expected to employ 1800 people during construction and 380 people once the port is completed.

The port will be constructed and operated under a 30-year concession agreement awarded to GSEZ in 2014 by the government of Gabon.

Clifford Chance and Project Lawyers acted as legal advisor to the lenders on this transaction.

WSP provided environment, social, technical and commercial advisory services to the lenders on this deal.

Mazars, EY and KPMG acted as financial advisors to the lenders on this transaction.

Linklaters acted as legal advisor to GSEZ Ports on this deal.


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