February 05 2021 (Lagos, Nigeria) — Axxela Limited (“Axxela”), has been accorded favourable national scale issuer ratings of BBB+(NG) and A2(NG) in the long term and short term by Global Credit Ratings (“GCR”). The ratings are valid until September 2021 and were ascribed due to Axxela’s strategic initiatives, continued diversification of revenue sources, and robust business continuity plans. Agusto & Co. also recently revalidated Axxela’s corporate credit rating as “Bbb+” with a stable outlook until June 30, 2021.
Commenting on the rating renewal, Bolaji Osunsanya, Axxela’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Given the global headwinds faced by many sectors due to the pandemic, the company’s rating profile reaffirms our healthy financial status, competitive position, and the application of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) standards across our sustainable business model. As an industry leader, Axxela will continue to spur wider industrialisation to develop communities and maximise shareholder value.”
According to the GCR report, “Axxela’s ratings reflect its leading position within the Nigerian natural gas distribution market, supported by long term distribution franchises in Lagos and Port Harcourt. Other key strengths which have underpinned the stability of earnings and cash flows include long term agreements with suppliers and customers, as well as a shipper license on the West African Gas Pipeline which enables Axxela supply gas to other West African countries. Axxela evidenced resilient performance in 3Q FY20, despite the COVID-19 disruptions, and reported strong revenue growth over the review period underpinned by a larger client base, rising volumes, and firmer selling prices.”
Axxela recently became the first Nigerian midstream company to successfully achieve a dual-listing of debt securities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and the FMDQ markets. The listing of the N11.5bn Series 1 Bonds is part of a multi-year N50 billion Debt Issuance Programme issued through a special purpose vehicle – Axxela Funding 1 PLC.
“We appreciate the continued recognition of our enterprise by the financial community, and the positive credit ratings further enhance Axxela’s anticipated portfolio diversification initiatives. Confidence in our company’s future increases the certainty of access to capital markets, which are critical to our continued growth and midterm regional expansion strategy,” said Timothy Ononiwu, Axxela’s Chief Financial Officer.
Axxela is a Helios Investment Partners LLP portfolio company, and the first privately-owned designated natural gas shipper on the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP). Axxela is also the pioneering private sector-led developer of natural gas distribution in Nigeria, delivering at peak 80 million standard cubic feet per day to over 180 industrial and commercial clients via a vast network of gas infrastructure. With over 330 km in gas pipeline infrastructure built, Axxela provides unique energy solutions primarily through its subsidiaries: Gaslink Nigeria Limited, Gas Network Services Limited, Central Horizon Gas Company Limited, and Transit Gas Nigeria Limited.