Jubilee Holdings acquires an additional 9% stake in Bujagali Energy

UGANDA Jubilee Holdings Limited (JHL), an insurance company, has acquired an additional 9.44 percent stake in Bujagali Energy Ltd (BEL), increasing its shareholding in the Ugandan-based firm to 18.24 percent from 8.8 percent.

The shares valued at US$40 million were held by the technical partners SN Power. SN Power, which remains with an economic majority of 55.45 percent shares in BEL, invests in clean, renewable energy on a commercial basis in emerging markets.

The company’s primary focus is on hydropower and is fully owned by Norfund, the Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries.

BEL is the special purpose company that owns the 250MW Bujagali Hydropower Project (Bujagali) which was built at an estimated cost of US$900 million through a combination of debt and equity financing.

In a statement, the insurance firm’s Chairman Nizar Juma said the increased investment in Bujagali is part of the insurer’s strategy to hold a diversified and conservative portfolio of investments totalling Ksh111.2 billion (US$1.11 billion).

“We are very pleased with this additional investment in Bujagali and we have confidence that it will continue to provide us with stable and consistent returns as has been the case with all our existing investments,” said Mr Juma.

The firm’s total assets stood at Ksh130.2 billion (US$1.3 billion) as at December 31, 2019 with core investments in quoted securities, government bonds, real estate, unquoted securities and projects that generate US dollar returns, including interests in Farmer’s Choice, PDM and Seacom.

Jubilee Holdings got the opportunity to increase its shareholding in Bujagali in 2018 following the exit of former partners Sithe Global.

The Bujagali Hydropower Project is widely considered the most successful public-private partnership in the power sector in sub-Saharan Africa and has been used as a model for subsequent projects in the region.

Bujagali was commissioned in August 2012, putting an end to years of constrained economic growth caused by an insufficient and unreliable power supply in Uganda. Bujagali provides up to 50 percent of Uganda’s electrical energy requirements.

It remains the first independent power producer in Uganda and one of the largest Clean Development Mechanism project.

“JHL would like to extend its appreciation to all partners and stakeholders that have supported us in completing this deal,” Mr Juma said.

The project has created over 200,000 indirect jobs and is supporting over 800,000 new electricity connections since its commissioning, while improving air quality by reducing carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 1 million tonnes per annum.

The insurer, which has operations in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and Mauritius, is listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE).

The underwriter declared an interim dividend of Ksh1 (US$0.01) per share which was paid to shareholders in October last year (2019).

It then announced a final dividend of Ksh8 (US$0.08) per share for shareholders, pushing the total dividend for the year 2019 to Ksh9 (US$0.09) per share.

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