Law firm Baker McKenzie has advised JSE-listed Impala Platinum Holdings (Implats) on its investment into the AP Ventures Fund II, which focuses on companies developing sustainable hydrogen energy technologies.
Implats had taken a significant “Limited Partner” stake and advisory board seat in the fund in December last year.
Baker McKenzie corporate and merger and acquisitions head Morne van der Merwe led the firm’s cross-border team that assisted Implats in getting involved in the fund.
He says the fund invests in technologies that are critical to Africa’s sustainable energy future and that new solutions are urgently needed to address Africa’s power crisis and post-pandemic recovery.
“Such solutions must take into account the energy transition and the global drive towards a decentralised, decarbonised and secure energy supply that addresses climate change and stimulates economic growth.
“This exciting investment will enable the development of hydrogen technologies that can lower energy costs, increase the power system’s flexibility and facilitate the decarbonisation of African industries,” Van der Merwe notes.
Implats refining and marketing group executive Sifiso Sibiya says Baker McKenzie has helped in closing this transaction within a very tight deadline.
He adds that a zero-carbon hydrogen solution is one of the key evolving end-uses for platinum group metals (PGMs) and an important part of the successful path to decarbonisation.
“This investment will help to harness the benefits of PGM demand growth and add value to our local communities through hydrogen’s role as a key enabler of the energy transition.”
Last year, Baker McKenzie’s hydrogen team, comprising a global, multi-practice team of hydrogen industry experts, launched the Hydrogen Hub to share new policy and developments focusing on the important role of hydrogen in global sustainable energy initiatives.
Existing investors in the London-headquartered AP Ventures, which this year established a South African presence, include South Africa’s Public Investment Corporation, Anglo American Platinum, the Toyota-linked Mirai Creation Fund, Mitsubishi Corporation, Plastic Omnium and the Sumitomo Corporation.