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VENTURES AFRICA – After an overdue 6 month suspense, Actis Capital’s acquisition of American corporation AES’s Cameroonian power sector assets for $220 million has been approved by the Cameroonian government.
AES which owns interests in Kribi Power Development Corporation (KPDC), Dibamba Power Development Corporation (DPDC) and 56 percent stake in AES Sonel, signed an agreement with Actis last year November to divest.
Certain pieces of information led some to speculate that the deal would be opposed in favour of Electricité de France (Edf), which, pending government approval, already had its eyes on AES assets in Cameroon.
While speculation was brewing about the sale of AES assets, Actis announced on December 9, 2013 that it had closed its third energy investment fund, Actis Energy 3, after raising $1.15 billion, surpassing the desired amount by 50 percent. A part of this fund will be used to finance the acquisition of shares in AES Corporation in Cameroon once government approval has been obtained.
So far, government notification allowing AES to sell its assets in the three Cameroonian subsidiaries has provoked no response from employees of the companies, especially AES Sonel, the electricity sector leader in Cameroon. According to sources contacted at AES, “everyone is working calmly.
November last year, electricity union members who are staff of AES Sonel demanded the handing over of their 5 percent share of AES Sonel before the conclusion of the AES-Actis deal. If this request is met, 51 percent of AES Sonel’s capital will be sold to Actis instead of the previously expected 56 percent.