STOA joins the shareholding of leading East-African C&I operator, Equator Energy

STOA, the energy and infrastructure impact fund created by Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (CDC) and Agence Française de Développement (AFD), is part of the consortium that has signed an agreement to acquire a majority stake in Equator Energy Ltd (Equator Energy), a leading commercial and industrial solar operator in East Africa.

STOA will be partnering for the first time with IBL Energy Holdings Ltd (IBL Energy), a fully owned subsidiary of the Mauritian listed IBL Group, which has great ambitions on the whole African continent, especially in the energy sector. The consortium formed by STOA and IBL will be purchasing the majority stake from Maris Limited (Maris), an Africa focused investment company, and Nvision Ltd (Nvision), an Africa focused solar company. The completion of the transaction is subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions precedent including the obtention of relevant regulatory approvals and the satisfaction of all legal requirements.

This third investment in the solar C&I space further demonstrates STOA’s ability to diversify its portfolio beyond traditional energy projects and is building up on the company’s expertise gained through the Daystar Power group (exited last year) and Candi Solar transactions. The acquisition of Equator Energy and the capex financing STOA is lining up to fuel up the company growth, align perfectly with our two commitments to direct at least 50% of STOA investments to Africa, and an equivalent minimum percentage of our investments towards projects with climate co-benefits. By providing cheaper and cleaner electricity to Equator’s clients, STOA investment will also contribute to increase the competitiveness of African manufacturers and industrial companies leading to more job creations in the process.

Equator Energy operates the largest commercial and industrial solar power portfolio in East Africa, mainly in Kenya and Uganda, with smaller operations in Zimbabwe, Somalia, Gambia, and South Sudan. They provide fully integrated renewable energy systems, with solutions ranging from simple grid-tied systems to solar-diesel hybrid systems. Their management and technical teams are headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya and they have maintenance teams throughout Kenya and their other jurisdictions. Since its inception in 2016, Equator Energy has shown strong and sustained growth, with its portfolio currently standing at 35MW of solar plants in operation and over 50MW signed and the ambition to reach 300MW by 2030.

“We are delighted to provide our support to the exceptional growth undertaken by Equator Energy. Within a few years, the company has managed to build a very strong portfolio of operating assets together with an impressive pipeline of very happy customers. Being an impact fund, STOA is very proud to see that our investment will provide the affordable electricity needed to continue the industrialization of our core countries of focus in sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, the renewable energy generated will help Kenya and the other countries in their goals to increase their generation capacities with clean electricity,” said Marie-Laure Mazaud, CEO of STOA.

“We are excited to announce that IBL and STOA are shareholders in Equator Energy. Their expertise, capabilities, and industry experience will bolster Equator Energy‘s growth trajectory. With their support, we are confident in our ability to deliver even more innovative solar solutions to our existing base of over 100 customers, as well as to expand our reach to new customers in the future. This investment by IBL and STOA is a testament to their confidence in our team, our customers, and our markets, and we are honoured to have their support”, said Sebastian Noethlichs, CEO and Founder of Equator Energy.

“After acquisitions of Naivas and Harleys in the Commercial & Distribution cluster of IBL Ltd, I am glad that ‘IBL Beyond Borders’ now sees an investment in the energy sector. When we developed our strategy in 2021, we identified renewable energy as a sector presenting significant opportunities to deepen our presence in the African market. Driven by a culture of excellence, IBL Group wishes to propose solutions structured around renewable energy, energy savings and the reuse of waste. As Equator Energy provides simple and integrated solutions in emerging markets where solar energy has added value, this partnership is aligned with our aim to be a pioneer in the energy transition,” said Arnaud Lagesse, Group CEO of IBL.

“We are delighted for IBL and STOA to lead Equator Energy through its next phase of growth. Their experience and capacity will allow the company to reach new heights and markets and cement its leading position in the C&I solar sector in Africa,” said Charlie Tryon, CEO of Maris.

About STOA

Launched in 2017 by Caisse des Dépôts and Agence Française de Développement, we are a leading impact investor in infrastructure and energy. Our purpose: financing and supporting the development of sustainable and resilient infrastructure for future generations in Africa, Latin America and Asia.


Sandrine Valadoux
Communication Officer STOA Infra Energy