The NOA (NEoT Offgrid Africa) investment platform, majority owned by Meridiam, an asset manager in infrastructure projects, has just set up a securitisation programme for the financing of renewable energy projects in Ivory Coast. The programme will help equip more than 100,000 households in the country with solar home kits.
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The NOA (NEoT Offgrid Africa) investment platform offers companies and start-ups specialising in renewable energy production in Ivory Coast an innovative financing mechanism. An agreement was signed on March 2, 2020 between the NOA platform, which aims to support the energy transition in Africa, and the company Zola Electric Cote d’Ivoire (Zeci). The securitisation programme for loans to finance off-grid electricity projects will make it possible to equip more than 100,000 homes with solar home kits in the country, mainly in rural and peri-urban areas.
Outline of the securitisation programme
The securitisation of receivables refers to a financial arrangement whereby a company can obtain financing through the transformation of its assets. Thanks to this financing mechanism, NOA, majority owned by Meridiam, a French asset manager in infrastructure projects, carries the financial risks in the “rent-to-own” scheme. This is a mechanism designed by NEot of Africa, which is intended to enable customers (companies or start-ups) to become owners of the solar kits at the end of the rental period.
The financing mechanism set up by NOA, will also enable Zola Electric Cote d’Ivoire to focus on the marketing and deployment of clean energy supply solutions in remote areas (rural and peri-urban areas). In order to reach a largely unbanked population, payments will be made via mobile money. “NEoT Offgrid Africa (NOA) is very proud to have set up this innovative financing mechanism. The financing needs of the energy sector in Africa are immense, but many obstacles remain for private investors,” explains Philippe Ringenbach, Managing Director of NEoT Capital.
The receivables securitisation programme launched by NOA will be expanded across Africa. NOA is leading the financial structuring of the entire project. The company aims to reach a portfolio worth EUR 40 million (more than 26 billion CFA francs). To this end NOA has mandated several financial institutions to meet the financing needs. These are Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank (Cacib), the corporate and investment bank of the French Crédit Agricole Group; Société Générale Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB) and Société Générale Banques in Côte d’Ivoire (SGCI), two subsidiaries of the Société Générale Group.
SGCI has already granted a loan in local currency (CFA francs) to the NOA platform. The amounts to be committed by NOA will vary monthly depending on the characteristics of the solar kit suppliers’ portfolio. Guarantees will be provided by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Cacib. The social and environmental performance of the project will be monitored by the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation.