United Capital plc launches N150B infrastructure fund

Peter Ashade CEO United Capital plc

Peter Ashade CEO United Capital Plc

By Itohan Abara-Laserian

United Capital Plc has launched a N150 billion United Capital Infrastructure Fund (UCIF), a Naira-denominated fund.

It is established to provide long-term financing for the delivery of critical infrastructure.

Mr Peter Ashade, the Group Chief Executive Officer of United Capital, disclosed in a notice posted on the website of the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Ltd on Monday in Lagos.

Ashade said the UCIF would help to bridge the infrastructure deficits in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa.

He said that the UCIF had been duly registered by the Securities and Exchange Commission as a closed-ended fund with a N150 bilion issuance programme.

Ashade added that the fund was positioned to finance bankable infrastructure assets that cut across sectors such as power and renewable energy, transportation, agribusiness and industrial infrastructure, healthcare, technology and mass housing, among others.

He said the fund would be managed by United Capital Asset Management Ltd (UCAML).

Ashade noted that the fund retained Africa Finance Corporation, as the independent Financial Advisor, to provide additional layers of best practice of corporate governance which enhances the project appraisal and due diligence activities of the fund Management team.

“The journey to launch the fund has taken almost two years, during which period extensive preparatory studies and appraisals were carried out to establish the business case for the fund.

“As well as to define a model and governance framework that would provide investors that have an appetite for long-term financing products (such as pension funds and insurance companies), with sufficient confidence of the attractiveness of UCIF, as an investment opportunity,” he said.

Also speaking, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, UCAML, Mrs Odiri Oginni, said that the fund management team had screened and appraised numerous infrastructure projects in the last two year.

“During the almost two years of preparatory activities, the fund management team scanned, screened and appraised numerous infrastructure projects and is now at advanced stages of conducting due diligence on a deal pipeline valued in excess of N54 billion.

“UCIF is working on building strategic alliances with financing counterparts such as multilaterals and public authorities, to ensure that appropriate financing securities and credit enhancement instruments are in place to de-risk the Fund’s portfolio investments,” Oginni said.

United Capital is a financial services group with activities that span investment banking, asset management, securities trading, trustees, wealth management and consumer finance.