In partnership with Societe Generale and GuarantCo, part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), Spiro is set to significantly expand its fleet of electric motorbikes, alongside the associated batteries and swap stations, in Benin and Togo. This significant step will be backed by a XOF 37.8 billion (c. USD 63 million) financing solution, with a first tranche of XOF 21 billion (c. USD 35 million), from Societe Generale, secured by a 70% partial credit guarantee from GuarantCo.
This major transaction, in line with the green loan principles, propels Spiro’s mission to tackle the climate emergency, enhance public health, and stimulate economic growth in Africa. Spiro aims to replace conventional combustion engines with clean electric alternatives, significantly reducing CO2 emissions and air pollution.
Spiro CEO, Jules Samain, said: “This pivotal funding from GuarantCo and Societe Generale enables us to step up our commitment to decarbonise transportation. By adding at least 15,700 clean electric motorbikes, over 31,400 electric batteries and more than 1,000 swap stations to our existing fleet, we expect to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, this venture allows us to generate numerous operational, maintenance, and technical support jobs, fostering local employment with a strong focus on gender inclusivity.”
Mohamed Fadel Kane, MD Structured Finance Societe Generale Group, said: “Consistent with our “raison d’être” at Societe Generale—to co-create with our clients a more sustainable and prosperous future by delivering innovative, responsible financial solutions—we’re proud to propel the evolution of sustainable mobility in Africa. With the successful backing of SPIRO’s significant initiative, we’re demonstrating our steadfast commitment to shaping the future of finance in alignment with global sustainability goals. These clean electric motorcycles are not just a stride towards reducing our environmental impact; they promise to stimulate economic growth in Togo and Benin and to fulfil the pressing mobility needs of Africa. The project’s financing was significantly strengthened by our partner GARANT CO. This successful partnership testifies to our ability to forge robust alliance, reinforcing our commitment to deliver sustainable, high-impact transformation.”
Layth Al-Falaki, CEO of GuarantCo, said: “We are delighted to have closed this transaction with Spiro, and to have further cemented our strong relationship with Societe Generale. This landmark electric mobility project will contribute to improving the environment to the benefit of the people of Benin and Togo and will directly contribute to addressing the challenge of providing affordable, clean vehicles in the two countries. In addition, it will help transform the market through wider demonstration and replication effects.”
Abdoul Aziz Ba COO of ATIF adds: “This transaction is an important milestone for Spiro, and as a sponsor we strive to channel global private capital and expertise to companies operating in Africa. It is very important also to provide growth capital to our investment portfolios via innovative structures with local and international financial investors. As such the financing close with Societe Generale and GuarantCo is a great partnership to promote clean energy and sustainable growth in Africa”
At least 100 new jobs for the installation of charging stations and technical support will be created through this project. Moreover, an additional 3,710 operations and maintenance roles are expected. Spiro maintains a strong commitment to gender equality, aiming for at least 30% of these roles to be filled by women, and offering technical and leadership programmes to enhance their skills.
The expansion plan contributes directly to the achievement of Sustainability Development Goal (SDG) 11.6: Reduce the environmental impact on cities and SDG 13: Limit and adapt to climate change. Spiro, in partnership with Societe Generale and GuarantCo, will continue to lead the charge in e-mobility, contributing to a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable Africa.
Spiro – Lee Breheny, Head of Communications firstname.lastname@example.org
Societe Generale – Stéphanie Foulon, email@example.com
GuarantCo – Marjolein van Kampen, Communications Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
PIDG – Cecilie Sorhus, Head of Communications, cecilie.sorhus@PIDG.org
Spiro is a leading electric motorbike manufacturer and clean energy provider in Africa. Spiro’s mission is to address the climate emergency, improve public health, and stimulate economic growth in the region by replacing fossil fuel-based vehicles with clean, efficient, and affordable electric alternatives. With a growing presence across Benin, Togo, Rwanda, and Uganda, Spiro is at the forefront of sustainable transportation and the e-mobility revolution in Africa.
About Societe Generale Benin and Societe Generale Togo:
Opened to the public in February 2003, Societe Generale Benin, the only international bank, has more than twenty years’ experience in local banking and service to the local economy.
Societe Generale Benin is a limited company with a Board of Directors and a capital of CFA 37 billion at December,31 2022.
In Benin, Societe Generale supports Beninese businesses by offering solutions tailored to their needs, in particular its regional platforms of expertise and its foreign exchange and structured finance solutions.
The subsidiary intends to confirm its position as a benchmark bank by drawing on the Group’s expertise and the support of the West Africa Regional Division.
The Societe Generale Togo branch was set up in June 2015 with the aim of initially serving corporate customers and financial institutions and since January 2023 the Small and Medium Enterprises.
Both entities focus their development’s strategy on financing green impact business projects.
GuarantCo mobilises private sector local currency investment for infrastructure projects and supports the development of financial markets in lower income countries across Africa and Asia. GuarantCo is part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) and is funded by the governments of the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Australia and Sweden, through the PIDG Trust, the Netherlands, through FMO and the PIDG Trust, France through a stand-by facility and Global Affairs Canada through a repayable facility. GuarantCo is rated AA- by Fitch and A1 by Moody’s. GuarantCo’s activities are managed by GuarantCo Management Company which is part of Cardano Development www.guarantco.com
The Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) is an innovative infrastructure project developer and investor which mobilises private investment in sustainable and inclusive infrastructure in sub-Saharan Africa and south and south-east Asia. PIDG investments promote socio-economic development within a just transition to net zero emissions, combat poverty and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). PIDG delivers its ambition in line with its values of pioneering, partnership, safety, inclusivity and urgency.
PIDG offers Technical Assistance for upstream, early-stage activities and concessional capital; its project development arm – which includes InfraCo Africa and InfraCo Asia – invests in early-stage project development and project and corporate equity. PIDG credit solutions include EAIF (the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund), one of the first and more successful blended debt fund in low-income markets; GuarantCo, its guarantee arm that provides credit enhancement and local currency solutions to de-risk projects; and a growing portfolio of local credit enhancement facilities, which unlocks domestic institutional capital for infrastructure financing.
Since 2002, PIDG has supported 211 infrastructure projects to financial close, which provided an estimated 222 million people with access to new or improved infrastructure. PIDG is funded by the governments of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Australia, Sweden, Germany and the IFC. www.pidg.org
ATIF is an Africa-focused private investment fund based in Abu Dhabi Global Market, with the ambition to contribute to the sustainable industrialization taking place in Africa, by investing in integrated and sustainable industrial ecosystems. ATIF is the main sponsor and investor in Spiro and is committed to fostering green and inclusive growth in Africa. Through strategic investments, ATIF helps drive sustainable and impactful initiatives across the continent, focusing on projects that address key challenges and contribute to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals.
About Okan Partners:
Okan Partners is a leading advisory firm focused on helping businesses succeed in Africa. With its comprehensive knowledge of the African markets and strong expertise in financial structuring, Okan Partners offers invaluable insights and advice to companies, ensuring their strategies are optimised for success.