Reatile buys 20% stake in Juwi’s South African unit

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South African investment holding company Reatile Group has agreed to acquire a 20% interest in the Juwi Renewable Energies (Pty) Ltd South African unit of German renewable energy company Juwi.

Reatile said in a press release it formally entered the agreement in April. The purchaser did not specify the sum it will invest in the transaction.

The move will enable Reatile to expand its investment in renewables in South Africa, where Juwi is building four solar power plants with a combined capacity of 250 MW under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Program (REIPPP). “The Reatile Group is interested in investing in megawatts throughout the continent,” said chairman Simphiwe Mehlomakulu. “We want to make sure that for every rand we make in fossil fuel we make the same rand in renewables – so that when I die and leave this world, we have a neutral carbon footprint.”

Black shareholding

The company revealed that last year, during re-negotiation of power purchase agreements signed under the REIPPP scheme, South Africa’s Department of Energy imposed new requirements concerning black shareholding in the special purpose vehicles owning the projects affected. On its webpage, Reatile defines itself as a 100% black owned and operated investment holding company. “It is a Level 1 B-BBEE [broad-based black economic empowerment] contributor, with 27.98% black woman ownership and a procurement recognition level of 135%,” the website states.

“Juwi subsequently engaged with the lead equity [holder] on the three projects, Old Mutual, and we have given them the commitment that we will be at least 40% black owned and at least 50% of that ownership will be through an active black industrialist shareholder,” Reatile added in yesterday’s statement.

Reatile also revealed it may take an equity stake in Juwi’s operations and maintenance unit through a separate transaction.

This article was updated on June 7, 2019 to specify the transaction relates to the South African unit of Juwi, not to the whole group.