Raxio, Roha and Meridiam have successfully secured a sustainability-linked debt facility of up to $170 million in multiple tranches for Raxio Data Centres, a pan-African data centre developer and operator. The financing package includes $110 million from Proparco and the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), a Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) company.
The financing will enable Raxio to progress with its ambitious roll-out strategy of advanced, highly reliable and efficient Tier III certified, data centre infrastructure across the continent. Raxio’s current portfolio of sites, built or under development, already give Raxio the widest geographic coverage of any data centre operator in Africa.
Proparco is a tier one development finance institution, and EAIF is a leading infrastructure investor; both share a joint objective to contribute to developing digital infrastructure in Africa – supporting digital transformation across the continent. The sustainability-linked financing package, anchored in ESG principles, promotes energy efficiency, responsible water use practices and female empowerment; all of which align with the core values of the lenders, Raxio and its shareholders. The water and energy use efficiency of Raxio’s sites set a benchmark in Africa and Raxio is proud to see these principles reflected in its financing.
Raxio’s current footprint covers seven countries in Africa, including Uganda, Ethiopia, Mozambique, the DRC, Côte d’Ivoire, Angola and Tanzania. Raxio has been backed by investments from Roha and Meridiam and the new funding will be used to accelerate Raxio’s growth in African markets and will support the construction and expansion of existing and new facilities in the region.
Robert Mullins, CEO of Raxio Data Centres, said: “This is a momentous milestone for Raxio, and we are very excited to have found in Proparco and EAIF the ideal long term partners, with common objectives and values. This substantial additional funding package is a resounding endorsement of what we have achieved so far and the soundness of our expansion strategy, and clearly positions Raxio as a leader in delivering world-class data centre infrastructure to markets across Africa. Raxio is committed to building a digital Africa, and this financing gives us the runway we need to continue executing our strategy.”
Ariane Ducreux, Head of Energy Digital and Infrastructure at Proparco commented: “Data centres, which concentrate data, services and a powerful aspect of service access, are the new hotspots of the digital economy. We believe digital infrastructure can contribute to the reinforcement of social ties and reducing socio-economic inequalities. This is especially true in sub-Saharan Africa where the lack of neutral and shared data centres undermines the potential of the local digital services markets. Therefore, we are proud to support Raxio’s first development phase of seven carrier-neutral data centres across Africa, together with long-standing partners like EAIF, Meridiam and Roha. With this sustainability-linked loan to Raxio, we also aim at fostering data centres with exemplary environmental sobriety and security levels.”
Commenting on the announcement, Sumit Kanodia, Investment Director at Ninety One, EAIF’s Fund manager, said: “Data centres in Africa enable the growth of the continent’s digital economy and unlock innovation for digitally native communities and businesses, providing more affordable access to transformative technologies and services. Our partnership with Raxio responds to the urgent demand for affordable internet connectivity in the region and signifies a joint ambition to narrow the digital divide in several high-potential economies by filling a vital funding gap.”
Raxio benefits from the strong commitment of its shareholders, Roha, the investment firm that founded Raxio, and Meridiam.
Brooks Washington, Partner at Roha, said: ”We launched Raxio in 2018 because we saw the significant potential for data centres across Africa. We’re looking forward to Raxio continuing its strong momentum and we are excited to build an African data centre champion.”
“The need for this type of data centre in these countries is clear and Meridiam is proud to be supporting Africa’s digital build-out through Raxio and are excited for what’s to come!”, said Mathieu Peller, Partner at Meridiam.
With this funding, Raxio will continue to deliver private and public sector customers across the African continent best-in-class, reliable, and sustainable data centre solutions. The financing package will support Raxio’s strategy of continuing to build Africa’s digital backbone and support the sustainable growth of Africa’s digital economy.
Raxio Group is one of Africa’s leading carrier-neutral Tier III data centre operators, delivering best-in-class colocation services. Established in 2018, we aim to provide industry-standard, carrier-grade facilities and services that form the foundation for Africa’s digital economy. Following the launch of our first facility in Uganda, Raxio now has a presence in Ethiopia, the DRC, Côte d’Ivoire, Tanzania, Mozambique and Angola. Raxio is constantly expanding its footprint and is on track to build several new facilities over the next two years, establishing a network of interconnected data centres servicing the active and latent demand across the African continent.
Roha Group is an investment firm that builds companies in Africa. Roha launches and funds new businesses with large scale potential by leading their development from origination to exit. Roha’s unique approach mitigates risk and delivers top tier returns while creating lasting, sustainable value for the continent. Roha’s portfolio companies have committed investments of over $500 million so far and are active in countries across Africa. Roha is a UNPRI signatory, with offices in Africa, the US, and Europe.
Meridiam, founded in 2005 by Thierry Déau, is an independent investment Benefit Corporation and an asset manager. The firm specializes in the development, financing, and long-term management of sustainable public infrastructure in three core sectors: sustainable mobility, critical public services and innovative low carbon solutions. With offices in Addis Ababa, Amman, Dakar, Istanbul, Johannesburg, Libreville, Luxembourg, New York, Paris, Vienna and Washington, Meridiam currently manages US$20 billion and more than 120 projects to date. Meridiam is certified ISO 9001: 2015, Advanced Sustainability Rating by VigeoEiris (Moody’s), ISO 37001 Anti-Corruption certification by AFNOR and applies a proprietary methodology in relation to ESG and impact based on United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Proparco, a subsidiary of Agence Française de Développement Group, has been working with the private sector for over 45 years for a more just and sustainable world. With an international network of 23 local offices, Proparco works closely with its partners to build sustainable solutions in response to environmental and social challenges in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America. Proparco benefits from sector-based expertise as well as a wide range of financial solutions tailored to the different stages of business development, notably thanks to its Digital Africa subsidiary, and its Propulse technical assistance offering designed to scale up the impacts and performance of its partners.
The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) provides a variety of debt products to infrastructure projects promoted mainly by private sector businesses in Africa and parts of the Levant. The Fund helps create the infrastructure framework that is essential to sustained economic stability, business confidence, job creation and poverty reduction. It has to date supported over 90 closed infrastructure projects across nine sectors in over 20 African countries. At 30 June 2022 EAIF had a committed loan book portfolio of over $1.15 billion. EAIF is part of PIDG. EAIF was established and substantially funded by the governments of the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Switzerland, and Sweden. It raises its debt capital from public and private sources, including Allianz, the global insurance and financial services company; Standard Chartered Bank; the African Development Bank; the German development finance institution, KFW and FMO, the Dutch development bank. EAIF is managed by Ninety One.
The Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) is an innovative infrastructure development and finance organisation which encourages and mobilises private investment in pioneering infrastructure in the frontier markets of sub-Saharan Africa and south and south-east Asia to promote economic development and combat poverty. PIDG delivers its ambition in line with its values of opportunity, accountability, safety, integrity and impact. Since 2002, PIDG has supported 190 infrastructure projects to financial close which provided an estimated 220 million people with access to new or improved infrastructure. PIDG is funded by six governments (the UK, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Australia, Sweden, Germany) and the IFC.
Ninety One is an independent, active global asset manager listed on the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges. Established in South Africa in 1991, as Investec Asset Management, the firm was a pioneer in emerging markets in Africa. In 2020, almost three decades of organic growth later, the firm de-merged from Investec Group and became Ninety One. Today, Ninety One offers distinctive, active strategies across equities, fixed income, multi-asset and alternative investments to institutions, advisors and individual investors around the world.