8 May 2012

Ghana deal pulls together Standard Bank Group's skills



Stanbic Bank Ghana Limited and The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited have signed a US$31.2m medium-term loan facility, which will partially finance a new commercial office and retail development at the Airport City, Accra, Ghana.

The project, One Airport Square, is being developed by sub-Saharan Africa's most experienced private equity real estate investor, Actis. The two banks are members of the Standard Bank Group Limited.

For Standard Bank Group, the deal is the culmination of a significant team effort involving staff in various countries and divisions. It represents one of the first structured property transactions of its type in Ghana and is a measure of the commitment of the group to the real estate sector in the West Africa Region.

Kwamina Asomaning, the Director of Stanbic Bank Ghana's corporate and investment banking unit, said: "Stanbic Bank remains committed to supporting infrastructure development in the country and improving the lives of Ghanaians. This landmark deal underscores these values while demonstrating our structuring and execution capabilities. Our vast network across Africa enables us to pool multi-functional skills and resources across borders to provide solutions that enable our clients to move their businesses forward."

Niyi Adeleye, Regional Head, Property Finance West Africa, Stanbic IBTC Bank (a member of Standard Bank Group based in Nigeria) says the group's real estate team is one of the most experienced in Africa, with a unique set of real estate capabilities aligned to high growth and value markets offering stakeholders an opportunity to leverage our proven capabilities in real estate.

"We are able to bring a host of knowledge and expertise to deal structuring for raising finance for a full range of property projects including large scale commercial office developments; shopping malls; residential developments; industrial, and selected leisure/ hospitality projects."

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Amanda Jean-Baptiste, a Director in the Real Estate team at Actis, said: "We are delighted to have reached this stage of the project. By securing this financing we are able to take a huge step forward in improving Accra's business and retail infrastructure. Standard Bank is an important partner for Actis and the granting of this facility strengthens our relationship."

Actis is a leading private equity investor in emerging markets with a growing portfolio of investments in Asia, Africa and Latin America and US$5bn funds under management. The Actis Real Estate team is the most experienced on the continent having created 10 institutional quality assets in 7 countries in sub-Saharan Africa including Ikeja City Mall and The Palms in Lagos, Accra Mall in Ghana and Nairobi Business Park.

One Airport Square is a 20,000sqm world-class office and retail development situated in Accra's newest commercial and retail area, minutes from the most important venues in the city and Kotoka International Airport. The construction of One Airport Square is being led by dedicated real estate development management company, Laurus Development Partners, an Actis portfolio company.

Designed by award-winning Italian architect Mario Cucinella, One Airport Square is set to become one of Accra's most prominent design landmarks. It is an ultra-modern, eco-friendly building and employs the latest building principles and state-of-the-art finishes. It will boast a landscaped public square featuring 1,400sqm of retail space with cafes and restaurants to service the office occupiers. The office section will provide 17,000sqm of lettable space. The total project cost is US$62.5million; construction is running to plan with the opening planned for early 2014.

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