Africa’s rich mineral reserves are continuing to attract the interest of global investors and Jersey is increasingly being favoured for business structuring and corporate services.

There may be perceptions of risk and uncertainty surrounding capital ventures in Africa, centring largely on political instability, corruption and a lack of infrastructure. International investors typically seek to manage risk by deploying capital via structures established in well-regulated and stable jurisdictions, with respected judicial systems. This is particularly evident in the case of businesses operating in the natural resources sector, which may need to access the international capital markets at some stage of their evolution. Institutional investors demand high standards of corporate governance and a demonstrable track record of corporate and financial record keeping prior to capital markets transactions.

Jersey Structures

Jersey has developed an enviable reputation as a jurisdiction of choice for natural resources businesses structuring into Africa. All forms of offshore vehicles – including companies, trusts and partnerships – can be established to support a wide variety of corporate transactions, including: asset holding; private placements; debt and equity listings; mergers and acquisitions; migrations; restructuring; refinancing; reorganisations; joint ventures and disposals.

In addition, it is becoming increasingly important for businesses to demonstrate proper substance in the jurisdictions in which they operate, not just with management and control, but with office space and employees. Jersey has welcomed many new businesses over the last few years, which have set up operations here. Jersey has all the infrastructure and expertise modern businesses require and there is a skilled and experienced local work force. Africa focussed businesses that have located in Jersey include:

  • Randgold Resources Limited
  • Centamin plc
  • Bellzone Mining plc
  • Heritage Oil Limited
  • Digby Wells Environmental

There is significant existing infrastructure in Jersey to assist with relocations and a wide variety of administration businesses, law firms, accountants, banks and other service providers, which can offer advice and practical support to ensure an efficient and effective relocation.

Corporate Services in Jersey

Many companies find that a disproportionate amount of their time is spent on operational or administrative tasks, rather than on core activities that create value. The appointment of a specialised corporate administrator can allow a cost effective and flexible approach to the maintenance of statutory records and company administration. This approach is often adopted by natural resources businesses pre-IPO, where the maintenance of high standards of corporate governance is critical. It allows businesses to manage peaks and troughs of activity and to take advantage of sophisticated IT platforms, processes and procedures. Natural resources businesses can access a full range of services including:

  • Registered office, registered agent, secretarial and registrar services
  • Company secretarial, board support and administration services
  • Bookkeeping, accounting and investor reporting services
  • Professional director services (individual and corporates)
  • Online services allowing secure remote access to corporate records

There are a number of regulated corporate services providers in Jersey with significant experience in providing services to natural resources businesses operating in Africa, from start-ups to companies listed on major international stock exchanges.

The Future

Africa’s economy has been predicted to grow by 5% per annum until 2040. If such growth is to be achieved, it will require a huge upsurge in inbound investment. Jersey’s strong links to London, access to its capital markets and its strong reputation with institutional investors make it well positioned as a destination to attract international capital to support investment into the continent.

“Jersey has developed an enviable reputation as a jurisdiction of choice for natural resources businesses structuring into Africa”