- Actis has agreed to sell BTE Renewables (‘BTE’) to Engie and Meridiam, at a total enterprise value of US$1bn
- BTE is the second largest renewables player in Africa after Lekela Power, which Actis sold in March this year
Actis, a leading global investor in sustainable infrastructure, has agreed to sell 100% of BTE Renewables to Engie and Meridiam. On completion, Engie will acquire the South African portfolio and team while Meridiam will acquire the Kenyan portfolio and team.
Actis established the pan-African renewable energy platform in 2017, with the acquisition of the Kipeto wind project in Kenya in the development stage. In 2019, Actis grew the platform with the acquisition of South Africa-focused BioTherm Energy and rebranded the company BTE Renewables (BTE). BTE targets the pan-African region, focused primarily on utility scale wind and solar projects. The platform is currently composed of six operating projects totalling c500MW in generating capacity, five projects in South Africa and one in Kenya. Five of the projects were built during the covid pandemic and despite the challenges were completed on budget. BTE has a proprietary pipeline of projects under development exceeding 5GW across the region.
The sale is consistent with Actis’ track record of investing in and developing the renewables power sector globally. BTE is the second largest diversified regional renewable independent power producer in Africa. With its strong team and pipeline, the platform is well-positioned for growth through its existing footprint and market expertise.
Through Actis’ ownership, BTE became a sustainability leader in the industry, enhancing value through inclusion and diversity initiatives, community development and biodiversity conservation. At the time of signing, 57% of the senior leadership are female, and in 2022, the company was recognised by Standard Bank as ‘the top gender empowered company’ in South Africa for the third successive year. BTE’s community development approach focused on ‘a Lifetime of Learning’ with over US$3 million invested in community education, ranging from early child development through to livelihood enhancement.
BTE was one of the four founders, alongside Actis, of the Initiative for Social Performance in Renewable Energy (INSPIRE), which was established as a non-profit company to support skills development to maximise the economic development and transformational potential of South Africa’s renewable energy sector. BTE’s biodiversity conservation approach was developed in collaboration with international conservation experts and supported by a pioneering US$10m mezzanine facility provided by The Nature Conservancy. BTE’s remarkable success was recognised by the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) in 2022 with an Environmental Stewardship Award. Today BTE is positioned as a highly valuable sustainability leader at the heart of Africa’s Just Transition.
Lisa Pinsley, Partner in the Energy Infrastructure team and Head of Middle East & Africa Energy at Actis, said: “I am delighted to announce that BTE Renewables will be sold to two leaders in energy and sustainable infrastructure both regionally and globally. The sale of BTE Renewables marks our fifth energy platform exit in Africa, where we have now built and owned 5GW of generation capacity, making Actis one of the largest investors in the regional energy sector. When we established BTE, our intention was to help meet the growing demand for electricity in Africa. Through our investment and our experience in doing this globally, we have grown and developed a leading power company, with an outstanding team based on the continent and a promising pipeline of projects. We leave BTE a sustainability leader as both its biodiversity initiatives and community engagement have led to real benefits to all living and working around the project sites, embodying our values drives value approach. We are confident that BTE, with its new shareholders, will continue to play a leading role in the energy transition across Africa.”
The transaction follows Actis’ sale of Lekela, the African continent’s largest pure-play renewable energy Independent Power Producer (‘IPP’), earlier in 2023.