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Acre Impact Capital's Export Finance Fund Reaches First Close

Anna Lyudvig
April 17, 2024, 11:27 a.m.
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Acre Impact Capital, a private-debt impact investment manager, has announced the first closing of its Export Finance Fund I with commitments of approximately $100m.

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Acre Impact Capital, a private-debt impact investment manager, has announced the first closing of its Export Finance Fund I with commitments of approximately $100m.

The Fund that is targeting $300m has attracted a diverse group of investors including institutional investors, major Development Finance Institutions (DFIs), family offices and impact-first investors such as Trimtab Impact and Ceniarth.

DFIs include the European Investment Bank and FSD Africa Investments.

The Fund has also secured significant commitments from several African investors, reflecting the attractive risk-return profile and expected impact of the strategy.

“We are incredibly proud to have received support from our limited partners, who have backed our pioneering Export Finance Fund I.

The current credit environment creates attractive opportunities for discerning investors, while addressing the urgent need for funding for climate-aligned infrastructure projects,” said Hussein Sefian, CEO of Acre Impact Capital.

Addressing the urgent need for climate infrastructure investment Acre Impact Capital’s innovative Export Finance Fund I is the first fund of its kind leveraging the transaction facilitation role of export credit agencies (ECA) for impact. 

Export finance delivers long-term debt financing guaranteed by official ECAs, allowing project sponsors to significantly reduce the cost of debt by obtaining attractive funding on ECA-backed financing and extending tenors up to 22 years. 

In doing so, ECAs significantly enhance project affordability and crowd-in private capital.

The Fund addresses a critical financing gap for African climate-aligned infrastructure. While commercial banks typically fund the tranche guaranteed by an ECA (worth 85% of the project value), funding for the remaining 15% commercial debt tranche has been increasingly scarce. By providing specialist funding for this tranche, the Fund will unlock transactions and mobilise $5.6 of private sector capital for each dollar invested.

“The Fund aims to invest in 15-20 projects in four thematic areas: (i) Renewable Power; (ii) Health, Food and Water Scarcity; (iii) Sustainable Cities and (iv) Green Transportation. These projects will deliver significant environmental and social impact while providing investors with desirable diversification,” Sefian said.

The Fund is committed to gender smart investing and seeks to ensure at least 30% of its portfolio of projects meet the 2X Criteria, increasing the number of women represented across its investment portfolio. 

In addition, Acre Impact Capital commits to promote and maintain gender balance at the fund manager and creating a culture that values diversity and inclusion.

Acre Impact Capital is a recipient of Technical Assistance from United States Agency for International Development (USAID)'s Scaling-Up Renewable Energy (SURE) programme to support the integration of the gender equality and social inclusion in its investment processes.

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