Sojitz Corporation acquires a 25% stake in Axxela

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Sojitz Corporation acquires a 25% stake in Axxela
Sojitz Corporation acquires a 25% stake in Axxela

Sojitz Corporation, Japan’s leading business conglomerate, has acquired a 25% equity stake in Axxela, Nigeria’s largest private sector gas distribution company. This is Sojitz’s first major African equity investment.

Helios Investment Partners (Helios), an Africa-focused private investment firm, sold a 25% stake in Axxela’s holding company. Helios retains a 75% ownership stake in the company.

Sojitz Corporation (Sojitz) is a leading investment and trading conglomerate listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

This was Sojitz’s first significant equity investment in Africa, indicating the company’s ambitions for growth on the continent and serving as a model for future collaboration in Africa between Helios and Sojitz across a variety of sectors.

Both parties stated that as like-minded shareholders, Helios and Sojitz expected to accelerate Axxela’s growth by leveraging Sojitz’s expertise in developing gas and power infrastructure projects and providing lower-carbon energy solutions to industrial customers worldwide.

Axxela is a forerunner in energy infrastructure, delivering cleaner, cheaper, and more reliable energy to industrial customers across West Africa. Its operations facilitate the use of Nigeria’s vast domestic gas resource to drive industrial growth while also facilitating fuel switching by industries to gas, reducing CO2, Nitric oxide, and other pollutants.

Axxela enabled its customers to reduce CO2 emissions by 1.7 million tonnes between 2018 and 2020 by switching their energy supply from diesel or Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) to gas, and this contribution to lowering CO2 emissions will be expanded as the company grows.

Ogbemi Ofuya, Partner at Helios Investment Partners, stated that partnering with Sojitz to drive further growth of Axxela’s business was a privilege.

 

“This transaction demonstrates the value of our strategy of developing market-leading, strategically important businesses that are highly sought after by global investors looking to enter or expand their presence in Africa.”

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“Sojitz is a world-class energy infrastructure investor and their investment represents the first Japanese strategic investment in a downstream gas distribution business in Africa. We look forward to working together to accelerate energy access for industrial growth and decarbonisation across Africa,” Ofuya said.

 

Chief Operating Officer, Infrastructure & Healthcare Division, Sojitz Corporation, Masakazu Hashimoto  described the acquisition as a strategic investment, which opens the door for entry to a gas downstream market in Africa where huge growth potential is expected.

 

“Africa is the largest frontier in the 21st century. This transaction embodies our “market-oriented initiative” and “co-creation and sharing methodologies” and begins a partnership between the internationally reputable fund Helios and Sojitz. We expect that this collaboration will create additional value to Axxela and their stakeholders by way of a disciplined investment while ESG issues are fully addressed,” Hashimoto said.

 

Sojitz is a leading conglomerate with experience in a variety of industries, including energy (gas, LNG, renewables, power, new clean energies such as hydrogen), automotive, aerospace, agriculture, chemicals, consumer goods, healthcare, infrastructure, and resources.

 

Sojitz, as a global energy player, has extensive experience in the gas and power infrastructure sectors, having been involved in the development of gas distribution networks, LNG terminals, and power plants around the world.

 

Sojitz’s “Medium-Term Management Plan 2023” calls for the company to take a market-oriented initiative in growth industries, and in accordance with the plan, the company has established a downstream gas business in Vietnam. This expertise will benefit the Axxela Group’s operations and growth, with the ultimate goal of providing multiple energy solutions that meet the needs of individual customers while contributing to CO2 reduction.