As part of Sidley’s Emerging Enterprises Pro Bono Program, a cross-office, cross-practice Sidley team assisted BURN Manufacturing Co. as borrower in all aspects of the negotiation and closing of a $4 million term loan facility with Spark+ Africa Fund, an impact investment fund that finances clean cooking solutions in developing markets.
BURN is a leading manufacturer and distributor of clean cookstoves in East Africa. To date, it has sold more than 1.3 million of its ultra-efficient cookstoves, saving an estimated 10 tons of CO2 emissions. The proceeds of the loan will finance BURN’s expansion in new markets, including Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, and Ghana, and increase capacity in its Kenya manufacturing facility from 80,000 to 250,000 units per month.
“As we embark on the most ambitious growth plans in our company’s history: expanding to new markets across Africa, increasing our production capacities, and launching new product lines, we are deeply grateful for Sidley’s outstanding legal counsel,” said Peter Scott, CEO of BURN. “Their assistance was essential to securing this funding from Spark+, which will propel us to new heights as the global leader of clean cooking design and manufacturing solutions and allow us to continue executing upon our mission of saving lives and forests across the African continent.”
Sidley partner Neil Horner said: “We have a tremendous amount of experience with large, cross-border leveraged finance transactions, and it was great to use that experience to help BURN obtain financing terms than were significantly better than those initially offered to them. I love working with pro bono clients like BURN, as it gives all of us — especially more junior Sidley lawyers — the opportunity to directly apply our skills to provide meaningful solutions for our clients and the communities they serve.”
In addition to Neil Horner, the Sidley team was led by associate Brian DiFilippo, partner Sheetal Khera, and partner Monique Gallego.