South African coal mining company, Seriti Resources, has acquired a majority stake in Windlab Africa’s wind and solar-power assets, through its subsidiary Seriti Green, after reaching an agreement this week.
The acquisition, according to Seriti, aligns with its goal to lower its carbon footprint, and will ensure its long-term sustainability as a diversified energy producer.
“This is a significant step in the development of Seriti Green, which was announced in November 2021,” the company said in a statement.
Windlab Africa consists of 100% of Windlab South Africa and 75% of Windlab East Africa.
Mike Teke, Seriti CEO said: “The acquisition is a timely and strategic addition to our existing and valuable portfolio of coal assets. Our commitment to the responsible and reliable production of coal for both domestic consumption and exports remains unwavering.”
Seriti becoming a diversified energy business
Seriti says introduction of renewable energy into its existing portfolio which includes coal assets will ensure the company’s long-term financial stability and diversification, whilst embracing alternative energy sources.
“This acquisition is a significant landmark on Seriti’s journey to becoming a diversified energy business and supports our ESG objectives and commitment to a just energy transition,” said Mike Teke, CEO of Seriti.
Seriti uses 750 GWh of electricity in the process of mining the coal that is used to fuel power stations. In line with the commitments made in the MOU signed in October 2021 with Eskom and Exxaro, Seriti will start using renewable wind and solar energy in its own facilities through the signing of PPA’s in 2023.
“We need to be moving towards a lower carbon future through investing capital from coal into green energy. It is not only the right thing to do, but it makes business and societal sense,” said Teke.
Seriti partnered with Standard Bank, RMB, Ntiso Investment Holdings and Peter Venn, Windlab Africa MD in fulfilling the transaction. The coal producer said it is confident in the strength of Windlab Africa’s experienced management team, led by Peter Venn, who will continue to develop and grow the business.
“Since commencing operation in Africa 14 years ago, Windlab’s aim has been to assist in the electrification of the region through the construction and operation of high-quality wind and solar renewable energy facilities. With African ownership and local capital, the business will now be able to accelerate the development of its significant pipeline to assist in alleviating the electricity shortages on the African continent,” said Windlab CEO John Martin.
“Standard Bank is proud to be an equity partner, funder and sole adviser to Seriti in delivering on its integrated energy strategy through the acquisition of Windlab – a renewable energy company with an established track record. We believe that the complementary skills of the management teams will provide a timely acceleration to deliver a diversified and more reliable energy supply for South Africa,” said Mark Buncombe, Head Mining and Metals.
Head of Infrastructure Equity Finance and Investments at RMB, Kwabena Malgas, commented: “An exciting opportunity to partner with Seriti, a key client and long-term partner of RMB. Seriti has always been at the forefront of solving South Africa’s energy crisis. The acquisition of the Windlab Africa platform is complementary to their business and will ensure that they continue to reduce the country’s energy deficit through various renewable sources”
The transaction, with a total purchase price of R892 million (USD 55 million), will see Seriti acquire a 51% controlling interest in Windlab Africa – with RMB (14.5%), Standard Bank (14.5%) and two individual partners, Mr Peter Venn (15%) and Ntiso Investment Holdings (5%) collectively taking up the remaining stake.
Windlab, as acquired by Seriti, is currently overseeing 3.5 GWs of renewable energy projects at different stages of development in South Africa and East Africa and will continue to be managed by current Managing Director Peter Venn and the Windlab Africa team.