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25 September 20223 minute read

DLA Piper advises on Pan-African Starsight Energy and SolarAfrica Energy merger

Global law firm DLA Piper has advised Dogstar Mauritius, a majority shareholder in renewable energy services provider Starsight Energy on its merger with South African-based solar firm, SolarAfrica Energy.

The newly formed entity will comprise of 340 staff across multiple jurisdictions as well as the combined shareholder group providing an unparalleled financial capacity to deliver renewable energy services across Africa as well as accelerating Africa’s transition towards a greater renewable energy mix.

SolarAfrica delivers state-of-the-art energy solutions through Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) to businesses across Southern Africa. As a full-service provider of capex-free, green energy solutions ranging from solar and battery storage options through to wheeling and electricity trading to the commercial and industrial sectors across Southern Africa. SolarAfrica delivers energy solutions that enable cost savings, carbon reduction and power security, and take customers on a green energy journey that allows them to secure 100% of their energy needs offline, solving their power struggles both now and for years to come. Additionally, SolarAfrica is a competitive player in the newly enabled power wheeling space and is now able to provide large power users with a lower cost electricity alternative from a recently developed centralised solar generation site, taking advantage of South Africa’s newly revised regulations permitting wheeling and self-generation of up to 100MW by private generators.

Starsight Energy is backed by Helios Investment Partners and African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM), a member of Old Mutual Alternative Investments. It provides premier clean on-grid and off-grid energy services to commercial and industrial clients across more than 650 sites in East and West Africa. Serving the commercial and industrial, financial, residential, educational and agricultural sectors, Starsight Energy delivers tailored power and cooling solutions to meet client requirements while optimising consumption through energy-efficient appliances and environmentally-friendly practices and recommendations. The company was named one of Africa’s fastest growing companies in 2022 by UK Financial Times, and is also the first renewable energy company in Nigeria to secure carbon credit accreditation, certified by the Verra Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) programme, the world’s most widely used voluntary Green House Gas (GHG) certification programme.

Amy Eliason, DLA Piper Corporate director commented: “This transaction represents a vote of confidence in the Pan-African renewables sector with Helios Investment Partners as well as AIIM increasing their investment footprint in multiple markets across the continent. It is an honour to have worked on such an important transaction for the continent and it once again demonstrates our ability to advise on market leading multijurisdictional transactions in the energy sector.”

The merger is subject to standard regulatory approvals, including anti-trust approvals.

The team was led by Corporate Director, Amy Eliason, supported by Jamie MacDonald (Director, Finance, Projects & Restructuring, South Africa), Johannes Gouws (Country Managing Partner, South Africa), Sibusile Khusi (Corporate Associate, South Africa), Danisa Naidoo (Associate, Finance, Projects & Restructuring, South Africa); Janine Simpson (Competition Director, South Africa); Chris Arnold (Corporate Partner, United Kingdom); Khemila Narraidoo (Senior Associate at Juristconsult Chambers (DLA Piper Africa, Mauritius); Ashley Zefira and Adrian Ntwatwa (Counsel at IKM Advocates (DLA Piper Africa, Kenya)); Dayo Idowu, (Partner) and Feyisikemi Adeagbo, (Associate) at Olajide Oyewole LLP (DLA Piper Africa, Nigeria) and Kizzita Mensah (Partner) and Boatemaa Baah Gyamfi (Associate) at Reindorf Chambers (DLA Piper Africa, Ghana).