Restructure gives Copperbelt Energy Corporation a major cash boost
Investment in Zambia’s power generation and telecommunications have received a major boost following a restructuring of Copperbelt Energy Corporation which has raised 387.5m kwacha (US$70 million).
Mesh Pillay, head of equity capital markets for sub-Saharan Africa at Standard Bank, said: “The funds raised in this transaction will go a long way towards supporting CEC’s growth initiatives across Africa as well as bringing power to new areas of the continent.”
The transaction highlighted Standard Bank’s ability to use its on-the-ground presence and investment banking expertise across the 20 African nations in which it operates.
The bank has a long-standing relationship with CEC, Zambia’s second largest power utility, which goes back to the utility’s initial listing on the Lusaka Stock Exchange in 2008.
Mesh said: “There are not a lot of corporates tapping the capital markets in Zambia so this is a fairly unique transaction as well as a sign of the increasing faith that investors have in Africa’s rapidly developing equity markets.”
CEC plans to use part of the rights offer proceeds to re-finance its balance sheet and to fund the development of transmission infrastructure, hydro generation and renewable energy projects.
Michael Tarney, Managing Director for Corporate Development at CEC, said: “We are delighted that 96 percent of CEC Plc’s existing shareholders chose to exercise their rights, providing additional equity to CEC Plc.
“The rights offer proceeds will provide additional capital to support the Company’s investments in power generation and telecommunications in Zambia, through the efforts of indigenous people and with the support of local capital markets.
“The Lusaka Stock Exchange has facilitated the first rights offer for CEC Plc since the Initial Public Offering (IPO) in 2008. The success recorded provides inspiration to CEC Plc to continue on its growth trajectory, with the likelihood of further rights offers in future years to raise additional capital.”
CEC’s transmission and distribution network consists of more than 1,000 kilometres of overhead lines and 41 high voltage substations with a current carrying capacity of 700MW. The company’s current market capitalisation is equivalent to USD188 million.
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.