The Birmingham office of commercial law firm Cobbetts has worked on two finance deals for African renewable energy companies.
A team at the Colmore Square offices of the company advised Namibia Agriculture and Renewables and Sierra Leone Agriculture on investments from Angad Paul, the chief executive of the billion-dollar London-based manufacturing group Caparo.
Subsidiares of both firms are currently looking at ways of developing local sources of renewable energy, and have been looking for third-party funding to help the exploration.
The companies said they would use the funding received from Angad Paul to further develop their Jatropha biodiesel and palm oil projects in Namibia and Sierra Leone, respectively. This is also used by Caparo to offset the global group’s carbon emissions.
Mr Paul said he hoped the investment would be the first of many that his firm would make in the sector and region.
Charles Bond and Kate DaSilva, of Cobbetts, led the deals, with assistance from Ian Illersic in the Cobbetts’ banking team and Van Den Bulke Advocats in Luxembourg, which provided legal advice in relation to the incorporation of the two holding companies in Luxembourg.
Mr Bond said: “This latest round of investment will enable both companies to gear up for the commencement of production and exportation of biodiesel. Renewable and green energy are very much in vogue following the weakening of the commodities markets and we hope that this will be one of many projects that Cobbetts is involved with in the sector in the near future.
“Cobbetts has a strong renewables and clean-tech offering across the firm and we expect there will be similar deals as sectoral activity continues to increase.”
Mr Bond, and the Birmingham office of Cobbetts, have experience working with firms in Africa, particularly through its successful mining division.
It was recently named as the top adviser to mining and mineral companies on the AIM listings. The mining focus has seen Mr Bond and his associates deal with firms from across the world, with ventures supported in China, Russia and the Middle East as well as Africa.
Recent transactions at Cobbetts included advising Russian mining company Highland Gold on an acquisition by Millhouse, the investment vehicle of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, of a 40 per cent shareholding for £196 million.
Another deal was the £236 million AIM admission of Panceltica, the first Qatar-based company to be brought to the market.
Cobbetts also advised Enegi Oil on its joint admission to AIM and the Luxembourg Stock Exchange and AIM quoted Timan Oil & Gas on a 100 million loan facility with Kazakh-owned Kamanisk Holdings.