BusinessDay

United Capital unveils investment in Lead Recycling Plant

United Capital plc, an African and investment banking group has made 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 bank sponsored this via the United Capital Infrastructure Fund (UCIF), a N150 billion close-ended fund.

According to a statement by the bank, the investment has been provided via a senior secured six-year medium-term refinancing facility provided to BPL Nigeria Limited, a leading exporter that trades Lead on the London Metal Exchange (LME) supplying customers in the US and Asia.

BPL is 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 the country.

In addition, the project is being implemented in three 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 statement further said the investment offers long-term revenue assurance from offtake agreements the company has secured with its international customers.

Ajibade Oluwabiyi, the chief executive officer, BPL said, “Our goal is to leverage 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”.

For Uchenna Mkparu, the infrastructure fund manager and chief investment officer for UCIF, the business case for UCIF’s investment in BPL is underpinned by strong global demand for the lead which supports the company’s long-term growth projections.

He said, “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 the fund’s investment policies and Environmental and Social Governance (ESG) guidelines.”