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Harith invests in Rail Company

The Pan African Infrastructure Development Fund 2 managed by Harith General Partners (“Harith”) has concluded an investment into Sheltam Mauritius Limited (“Sheltam”) being the ultimate parent company of the Sheltam Group. This investment was made through a share subscription for 30% of the total equity in Sheltam for an undisclosed sum. Immediately prior to the Harith investment, Sheltam Mauritius restructured its shareholder debt obligations and as a result Principle Capital is now the controlling shareholder of Sheltam Mauritius. Roy Puffet, the founder of Sheltam, remains part of the group.

Harith General Partners is the leading Pan-African fund manager for infrastructure development across the continent. With its Head Office in Johannesburg, Sandton; Harith manages in excess of US$1bn all of which is geared towards infrastructure in Africa. Emile du Toit, Head of the PAIDF2 Fund, said “In Sheltam we see a company with outstanding technical ability that has stood the test of time. Importantly we see Sheltam as a solid platform for growth and development that we can work together with to unlock rail projects in South Africa and across the continent”

The Principle Capital group is a private investment group with offices in London, Geneva and Cape Town. The company has a diversified base of investments in companies in Europe, the United Kingdom and Africa. Brian Myerson, Chairman of Principle Capital said, “We are delighted to have concluded the transaction with Harith. Sheltam has always had great technical ability, the company now has the financial capacity to make a meaningful difference to the railway industry in Africa”.

Sheltam will soon officially launch two initiatives aimed at adding significant capacity to the company’s ambition of being a significant rail operator on the continent of Africa. The first is a ring-fenced and dedicated rolling stock leasing company. The Sheltam leasing company will seek to provide lease finance and off-balance sheet solutions to compliment the sales and marketing activities of the locomotive, wagon and commuter rail OEM’s active on the continent of Africa.

The second is a dedicated rail projects platform that will seek to invest in concession companies, rail track upgrades and new build projects and investments into associated infrastructure. It will be the first dedicated rail track infrastructure platform focussed exclusively on Africa.

This transaction also heralds an exciting new beginning for Sheltam. The company will now conclude the following key projects:

  1. A substantial reinvestment program into the existing fleet of 44 EMD and GE locomotives;
  2. The purchase of an additional three, nine-year old General Electric C30EMP locomotives from PME Infrastructure Fund; and
  3. The development of a new Sheltam owned workshop, a phased investment totalling R115 million.

James Holley, CEO of Sheltam said, “Many of the railways of Africa are yet to live up to their potential. We are trying to build a company that gives Governments, private and public railways, mines and industry a platform to reach their full potential. Railways were the transformational backbone of industry for most developed nations and we believe it is time for railways to be the same for Africa.”

About Harith:

Harith is one of the largest investors in African infrastructure, with a long track record of value creation across the continent in the five core infrastructure sectors of energy, transport, telecommunications, health, and water. Headquartered in Sandton, with offices in Cote’ d’Ivoire, Harith has developed a pipeline of infrastructure projects designed to make a material difference to Africa’s gaping infrastructure deficit, which the World Bank estimates costs the continent 2% of GDP a year in lost growth.

Since its establishment over a decade ago, Harith has become the first port of call for every major African infrastructure project sponsors and developers needing funding and expertise. This status is thanks to our track record of successfully executing complex mega infrastructure projects, strong institutional culture, grounded in ethical conduct and excellent corporate governance. Our partners include some of the largest development finance institutions and banks investing in South Africa and the rest of Africa.

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