Terence Gregory. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL/FREDDY MAVUNDA
Terence Gregory. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL/FREDDY MAVUNDA

JSE-listed financial services group Ecsponent said on Friday it had concluded an initial public offering as part of a new R10bn debt programme.

The first tranche of notes under the company’s domestic medium-term note (DMTN) programme would be listed on the JSE on Monday.

Ecponent said the debt instruments would supplement its R5bn listed preference share programme and lower its overall funding costs.

“The notes add to the product range offered to our investor base and the tax treatment of the DMTN programme is more favourable to the group when compared to the preference share programme,” Ecsponent CEO Terence Gregory said in a statement.

“This will contribute to lowering the overall cost of capital, directly affecting the bottom-line,” Gregory said.

The capital raised would be used to “accelerate” the group’s equity holdings investments and operational expenditure.

“Our equity holdings portfolio is a critical component to balance short and long-term investment horizons,” Gregory said.

“This programme will assist in accelerating our growth, allowing us to significantly grow our equity holdings portfolio and add to the diversification of our investments across sectors and geographies and currencies.”

Gregory told Business Day in October Ecsponent planned to build a renewable energy division as it eyed attractive returns on solar power projects.

The small-cap firm was seeking shareholder approval for the acquisition of Gaborone-based Invest Solar Africa, which plans to list on the Botswana Stock Exchange.

Invest Solar Africa is constructing solar parks in Zimbabwe that could generate as much as 300MW of power once complete, Gregory said.

Through an offtake agreement with that government, the plants would supply power to the national grid at substantially better rates than Zimbabwe’s current offtake agreement with SA's Eskom.

hedleyn@businesslive.co.za