Citadel plans $200m Uganda investment
Cairo, December 1, 2011
Egyptian private equity firm Citadel Capital plans to invest up to $200 million in setting up power plants in Uganda in the next two years, a senior company official said on Thursday.
Stephen Murphy said the firm, which focuses on the Middle East and north Africa, wants to expand its east African portfolio through investment in agricultural, power and financial sector.
"We are looking at up to 100MW of power so that could be $150 million- $200 million," Murphy, who is managing director Citadel Capital Institutional Fund Raising told Reuters.
He said the investment of about three power plants would either use diesel, depending on its availability, and will be made through its electricity and natural gas distributor, Taqa Arabia.
"It's Taqa's capital but it could also take in partners in making those investments," Murphy said on the sidelines of private equity conference in Nairobi.
Taqa's initial public offering (IPO) which was slated for June to raise about $175 million to help fund its expansion in Egypt and elsewhere in the region, was postponed due to lower valuation prospects, after the Cairo bourse headed down, dragged by political unrest.
Uganda's energy regulator says the east African nation has a total installed capacity of 570MW but actual generation fluctuates below 400MW, due to an over reliance on rain-fed electricity.
The Cairo-based Citadel owns 32 percent of Taqa Arabia, and has a total investment valued at $8.7 billion, with some 15 percent of it invested in east Africa including South Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda, Murphy said.
It holds a 51 percent stake in the Kenya-Uganda railway and it is looking for agricultural opportunities Kenya, Ethiopia and Rwanda, Murphy said.
"We will probably do something in financial (sector) in the next two years ... It's likely to be Kenya, but Mauritius comes into that as well because it is a very good offshore financial services centre," Murphy said.
The firm also plans to increase its investment in gold exploration in Ethiopia, through its subsidiary ASEC Company for Mining, Murphy said, without disclosing how much would be invested in that area. - Reuters
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