Old Mutual unit hires Goldman to advise on Lekela power bid

Buyout firm Actis LLP has drawn broad interest for its 60% stake in Lekela.
Image: Bloomberg

A unit of Old Mutual Ltd hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc to help it acquire Africa-focused renewable-energy firm Lekela Power BV, according to people familiar with the matter.

Buyout firm Actis LLP has drawn broad interest for its 60% stake in Lekela, including bidders from China and the Middle East, said the people who asked not to be identified because the matter is still private. Old Mutual is bidding for Lekela through its African Infrastructure Investment Managers unit, they said.

Actis helped set up Lekela in 2015 and the group has built a 1 300-megawatt portfolio across Egypt, Ghana, South Africa and Senegal, according to its website. Following that sale, the company could exit its stake in BioTherm Energy Pty Ltd, one of the people said.

Lekela may be worth more than $2 billion and Actis is working with Citigroup Inc to sell the stake. Lekela’s other investor, Mainstream Renewable Power Ltd, backed by billionaire Kjell Inge Rokke’s Aker ASA, is another potential buyer.

Goldman, Citi and Actis, as well as Lekela and Mainstream, all declined to comment.

Lekela has a reputation of being “willing to take on challenges and are pretty forward-looking,” said Antoine Vagneur-Jones, an analyst at BloombergNEF’s energy transitions team. It operates West Africa’s biggest wind farm in Senegal and is rolling out utility-scale battery storage to help stabilise Senegal’s electricity grid.

© 2022 Bloomberg

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