James Emejo in Abuja
The United Capital Plc has been appointed lead issuing house and financial adviser of the first N8.5 billion Corporate Green Infrastructure Bond offer by the North South Power Company (NSP).
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved the 15-year tenor bond, which represented the longest tenured bond issued by a corporate in the country.
The series 1 green bonds was assigned AAA national scale rating by Agusto & Co. and GCR having being guaranteed by Infrastructure Credit Guarantee Company Limited and certified by TUV NORD CERT, an approved verifier under the Climates Bonds Standard, in conformance with the International Capital Market Association’s Green Bond Principles, Nigerian Federal Ministry of Environment’s Nigerian Green Bond Guideline and the Green Bonds Issuance Rules of the Nigeria Securities & Exchange Commission.
Speaking at the signing ceremony over the weekend in Abuja, Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive, NSP, Mr. Olubunmi Peters said “with the completion of the Series 1 Guaranteed Green Infrastructure Bonds issuance, North South has established a long-envisioned link with a more sustainable long-term, local currency financing required to implement its ambitious strategic power generation expansion plan through the capital markets.”
Chairman, NSP, Mallam Ibrahim Aliyu, said the offer represented a “first testing of the waters” by the company as it would be the first time it would raise funds from the formal capital market, though it had raised money from commercial banks.
He said: “We operate the best post transaction power asset in Nigeria and it is our intention to maintain this lead and improve it to create in due course, a vertical power company engaged in a number of power activities.
“We do hope this transaction will be a reference point for companies in the private power sector and in the larger corporate world in this country.
“We will continue to make disciplined decisions that will grow our company and become the leading electricity company in South Saharan Africa.”
Also, Group Chief Executive, United Capital, Mr. Peter Ashade said “United Capital is always exploring ways to provide innovative investment banking solutions to our clients.
“We congratulate our client, North South Power on a successful transaction of the Corporate Green Infrastructure Bond as we work together in achieving a common goal.”
The offer is a 15.60 per cent Series 1 Guaranteed Fixed Rate Senior Green Infrastructure Bonds (“Series 1 Green Bonds”) which is due 2034 under a N50 billion Debt Issuance Programme.
The security is the first certified green corporate bond and the longest tenured corporate bond issued in the Nigeria debt capital markets.
The bonds was oversubscribed by 60 per cent with firm commitments from 12 institutional investors including nine pension funds.
The success of the transaction highlights the growing appetite for more socially responsible investment in the market.
Other joint issuing houses for the offer include Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited, Vetiva Capital Management Limited and Zenith Capital Limited while Lions Head Global Partners acted as an adviser in the development of the Green Bond Framework, the assurance bond workstreams and also provided a second party opinion.
The NSP currently generates eight per cent of the country’s power, providing power to millions of Nigerians and aims to be the leading power company in Sub-Saharan Africa by safely providing affordable, reliable, and sustainable power to its customer base.