European law firm Fieldfisher has advised ZIZ Energie, a Chad-based integrated energy company, on a €2 million convertible round led by Energy Access Ventures (EAV), a Nairobi-based fund that invests in decentralised energy companies across Africa, with a €500,000 co-investment by Dutch entrepreneurial development bank, FMO.Founded in 2006 by Ibrahim Zakaria, a Chadian engineer, ZIZ develops, owns and operates MW-scale ‘metro-grids’ for cities of 35,000 to 100,000 inhabitants in Chad, a country where restricted access to electricity continues to be a key impediment to development.
The company has operated diesel-powered sites in provincial towns in Chad for the past 10 years and has been working on hybridising these sites to run partly on solar power and extending their distribution network.
ZIZ will use this initial funding to expand its electrification efforts in Chad and Central Africa, supplying energy and services to commercial and industrial clients, households and public institutions in off-grid rural and peri-urban areas.
Led by corporate partner Jonathan Brooks, Fieldfisher advised ZIZ on the investment documentation, which is governed by English law:
Commenting on the deal, Jonathan Brooks said:
"We were pleased to have been involved in this transaction, which marks a step towards providing vital electricity supply to parts of Africa that have so far lacked the energy infrastructure needed to power economic growth.
"Fieldfisher's strong energy and natural resources practice and growing portfolio of Africa-focused clients have allowed us to help companies like ZIZ secure funding and support them with the legal advice they need to capitalise on opportunities and expand their businesses."
Commenting on the investment from EAV, Ibrahim Zakaria, founder CEO of ZIZ Energie, said:
“We are excited to welcome EAV to Chad and to embark together on this audacious journey to develop decentralised renewable energy in Central Africa.”
ZIZ was also advised by LPA-CGR Avocats, Kreich Avocats SCP and Venture Law Ltd on French, Chadian and Mauritian law, respectively.
Fieldfisher is now advising ZIZ on the construction contracts for the implementation of the metro grids.
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