Coal miner Seriti to acquire Windlab's African business

The West Coast One wind farm in the Western Cape, South Africa. Source: Windlab Pty Ltd.

August 15 (Renewables Now) - Australian wind farm operator and project developer Windlab Pty Ltd has agreed to sell its African business to a group headed by the renewables arm of South African coal miner Seriti Resources Holdings Pty Ltd for ZAR 892 million (USD 54.3m/EUR 53.3m).

More specifically, Windlab is selling its 100% interest in Windlab South Africa and a 75% stake in Windlab East Africa, together referred to as Windlab Africa.

Under the terms of the deal, Seriti Green Pty Ltd will acquire 51% of Windlab Africa, whilst Rand Merchant Bank and Standard Bank each take 14.5% stakes. At the same time, individual investors Peter Venn and Ntiso Investment Holdings will buy respective stakes of 15% and 5%, according to the announcement on Monday. The transaction should be completed by the end of 2022.

“Following a strategic review of the business in early 2022, it became apparent that the ongoing development of the business would be best supported with African ownership and local capital,” the Canberra-based company said in a statement.

Separately, Seriti Resources said that with this purchase, it seeks to reduce its carbon footprint and ensure long-term sustainability as a diversified energy producer. The transaction will provide it with access to a portfolio of existing renewable energy plants “with a high return rate, a promising project pipeline and a highly experienced management team.”

Over the 14 years during which Windlab has been operating in Africa, it has developed more than 1 GW of wind projects. Presently, Windlab Africa oversees 3.5 GW of renewable energy projects at different stages of development in South Africa and east Africa.

Windlab is a portfolio company of Asia-Pacific investor Federation Asset Management, which supports the newly-announced transaction. A Federation-led consortium took over Windlab in June 2020.

“We are very pleased with the sale of Windlab’s African business. From an economic perspective, it’s an outstanding result for our investors but it also allows Windlab to focus its attention on its Australian development pipeline,” commented Stephen Panizza, Head of Renewables at Federation. The investment firm currently maintains a 25% ownership of the Aussie business.

(ZAR 1 = USD 0.061/EUR 0.060)

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