Cordiant backs Kazakh power deal

The deal is among the first from Cordiant’s latest emerging loan fund. 

Cordiant Capital has partnered with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to back a $646 million Central-Asian Electric Power Corporation (CAEPCO) modernisation project, the firm announced in a statement.

Cordiant committed $10 million to a $142 million EBRD syndicated loan for the project. The firm made the investment through its Emerging Loan Fund IV, which held a first close on $250 million in April.

“This is the second deal we've actually signed, we've got a couple of others that we've already approved and are moving forward on,” Cordiant president and chief executive officer David Creighton told Private Debt Investor.

Fund IV invests in floating-rate loans in regions where there is unmet demand for funding due to reduced lending from Western banks. 

CAEPCO’s four heat and power plants account for 6 percent of Kazakhstan’s electricity. The company already has completed the first stage of upgrades to its infrastructure.

“CAEPCO demonstrated an impressive ability to manage major investments and complete them according to plan, and the company is ready to take the next step in its expansion, allowing it to increase its electricity generation capacity and the geographical reach of its distribution network,” Creighton said in a statement.

“With the strength of the Kazakhstan economy, it is increasingly attracting the interest of Western investors. From our perspective, CAEPCO is a particularly good example of a company with stable shareholders and strong corporate governance and oversight. We set very stringent criteria for all the loans we make, and CAEPCO sets the standard for management within its sector,” he added. 

Founded in 1999, Cordiant has raised more than $2.4 billion across its six emerging market debt and equity funds, according to its website. The firm is headquartered in Montreal.