AXA has acquired from Bouygues SA a 18.6% stake in Eranove, a West African utility company with operations in power generation, transmission and distribution, as well as water production and distribution.
Eranove operates primarily in Ivory Coast and Senegal through concession companies including CIE, SODECI, SDE and an independent power producer, CIPREL. The firm employs over 7,800 people. In 2014, Eranove generated revenues of €430 million (US$487 million) through the sale of electricity to over 1.3 million clients and water to 1.4 million clients.
The deal allows AXA to increase the exposure of its asset portfolio to the fast-growing African utilities sector and confirms the group's decision to increase its infrastructure investments through AXA Investment Managers.
More than 300 million people still use unimproved drinking water sources in Africa , and more than 600 million people still have no access to electricity . With increasing populations, higher urbanization and strong GDP growth rates, Africa requires a significant improvement of its production capacity both in the short and the longer term.
Laurent Clamagirand, Chief Investment Officer of AXA, stated:
"The combined factors of a severe shortage of power generation capacity in Africa and high rates of GDP and population growth give Eranove a significant opportunity to build a leading energy platform across the continent. Eranove is already a successful and well-established business, with strong management and a large customer base. Our long-term investment and commitment to Africa will support the growth of Eranove as well as positively impact the countries it serves."
Pierre Vaquier, Chief Executive Officer of AXA Real Estate, commented:
"AXA Real Estate is already a diverse investor which now has operations in 24 countries and investments across direct property and infrastructure. Our investment in Eranove is another milestone in terms of widening the global expansion of our real asset investments as we take a holistic approach to assets and industries to deliver long-term growth on behalf of our clients."