Michelmores Advise on Transfer of Ownership of Pioneering Bioethanol and Green Electricity Operation in Sierra Leone

Michelmores has advised Sunbird Bioenergy ("Sunbird") on the transfer of 75.1% ownership of Addax Bioenergy (SL) Limited ("Addax") from AOG to a group of investors led by Sunbird (the "Sunbird Group"). AOG, a global investment group, is keeping a minority interest of 24.9% as a mark of its confidence in the future of the business, while the Sunbird Group will provide the additional financing to take the project to full commercial operation.

The Michelmores team comprised Partner Joe Whitfield and Associate Solicitor Harry Trick. AOG were advised by Eversheds.

Founded in 2008, Addax is a pioneering sugarcane bioethanol and renewable electricity operation in Makeni, Sierra Leone. The Greenfield project began production in 2014 and made first sales in early 2015. Sunbird, a renewable energy company with a portfolio of sustainable biofuel projects in Sub-Saharan Africa, will manage and run the operation in Sierra Leone.

Richard Bennett, CEO of Sunbird, commented:

"We look forward to building on the achievements of Addax in Sierra Leone, and restarting commercial operations as soon as possible. This opportunity is a perfect fit with our philosophy and development strategy".

The President of Serra Leone, His Excellency Dr Ernest Bai Koroma, expressed his support for the transfer.

"AOG have successfully established this bioethanol operation in our country, which will feed much-needed electricity into our national grid. We look forward to Sunbird carrying on their work and taking the project forward to commercial success".

For more information about Michelmores' Legal 500 ranked Emerging Markets and Energy & Renewables teams, please contact: Harry Trick, in Michelmores' Emerging Markets team: harry.trick@michelmores.com