United Capital Infrastructure Fund (UCIF) a N150billion close-ended fund sponsored by leading investment bank and financial services group, United Capital Plc, has announced its maiden investment in a brownfield lead production and exporting plant, with an initial capacity of 7,000 metric tonnes, rising to 28,000 metric tonnes.
The investment has been provided via a senior secured 6year medium-term refinancing facility provided to BPL Nigeria Limited (“BPL”), a leading exporter that trades Lead on the London Metal Exchange (LME) supplying customers in the US and Asia. BPL is as a major player in the Lead Acid battery recycling market with a significant market share. Over the past decade, the company has displayed an excellent track record and was recognized by the Central Bank of Nigeria in 2014 as one of the top 100 exporters in country.
The project is being implemented in three (3) phases, with the commissioning of the 7,000MT refining line occurring in the first phase and the expansion to 14,000MT and 28,000MT, respectively, in subsequent phases. The investment offers long-term revenue assurance from offtake agreements the company has secured with its international customers.
Speaking on the investment, Ajibade Oluwabiyi, the Chief Executive Officer of BPL said “Our goal is to leverage on our experience, technical expertise and favourable relationship with our customers to solidify our position as a market leader within the next few years. We are well equipped with an efficient team to achieve this feat. UCIF has proven to be an excellent partner in our journey, and we look forward to collaborating with them on our near-term expansion plans”.
Uchenna Mkparu, the Infrastructure Fund Manager and Chief Investment Officer for United Capital Infrastructure Fund added “The business case for UCIF’s investment in BPL is underpinned by strong global demand for lead which supports the company’s long-term growth projections. BPL’s track record, attests to the company’s capacity to sustain growth in the export sector, thereby continuing to earn valuable foreign currency inflows into the economy. This investment was carried out in compliance with fund’s investment policies and Environmental and Social Governance (ESG) guidelines.
UCIF is a N150bilion SEC-registered fund, launched in late 2021, to provide long-term financing for infrastructure projects. This investment by UCIF paves the way for more transactions within the coming months.
United Capital Infrastructure Fund is a specialized fund sponsored by United Capital Plc, a pan-African financial services group, headquartered in Lagos and active in businesses that span Investment Banking, Asset Management, Securities trading, Trustees, Wealth Management and Consumer Finance. The Fund is managed by United Capital Asset Management Limited (“UCAML”).