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4 April 2022



TEMPLARS advised Sojitz Corporation in connection with its acquisition of a 25% interest in the holding company of Axxela, the largest private sector gas distributor in Nigeria. This transaction marks the beginning of a collaboration between Sojitz and Helios in West African gas downstream businesses.

Sojitz is one of the leading conglomerate investment and trading houses listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and this acquisition marks Sojitz’s first significant equity investment in Africa and serves as a blueprint for future collaboration between Helios and Sojitz across other sectors.

Axxela, a Helios Investment Partners LLP portfolio company, pioneering private sector-led developer of natural gas distribution in Nigeria and designated natural gas shipper on the West African Gas Pipeline, operations support utilising Nigeria’s vast domestic gas resource to drive industrial growth while also facilitating fuel switching by enterprises to gas, reducing CO2, Nitric Oxide and Sulfur Oxide emissions.

Helios and Sojitz mutually desire to accelerate the growth of Axxela’s business by leveraging Sojitz’s expertise in developing gas and power infrastructure projects and providing lower-carbon energy solutions to industrial customers globally.

The TEMPLARS team was led by Partners, Yemisi Awonuga and Dayo Okusami supported by Managing Counsel, Obianuju Ifebunandu and Associates, Oluwatobi Alebiosu, Damilola Oshodi and Clare Ohiro.

Partner, Zelda Akindele advised on the Competition Law issues with support from Associates, Ojuolape Kalesanwo and Anwuri Akolokwu while Counsel, Dr. Jude Odinkonigbo advised on anti-bribery and corruption issues with support from Senior Associate Abimbola Atitebi and Associate Olasunkanmi Otuyiga.

Energy & Projects associates, Inna Ali, Uba Emole, Muhammad Abolarin and Omotayo Jimoh provided support on complex regulatory-related issues whilst Disputes Associates, Ikponmwosa Uwaifo and Lawal Kazeem provided support on enforcement-related matters.

TEMPLARS worked with an International law firm, Hogan Lovells, as Legal Advisers to Sojitz on this transaction.