Pan-African private equity investment firm EXEO Capital has announced the first close of the second Agri-Vie Fund, which will make investments in the food and agribusiness sector in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The fund has attracted commitments of over US$100 million, one-third more than the initial target, and will invest across the broad food and agricultural sector.
“This first close is building on the momentum of Agri-Vie Fund I, which is now in its realisation stage. Since inception in 2008, Agri-Vie has developed a proven track record in identifying strong performing food and agribusiness portfolio companies in Sub-Saharan Africa,” said Herman Marais, EXEO Capital managing partner.
“The first close of Fund II is a 33 per cent over-subscription on the initial target, supported by a core of Fund I investors as well as new investors. The fund will remain open for additional investors for another 12 months with a target of US$150 million and a hard cap of US$200 million.”
The Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries – Norfund – has been invested with Agri-Vie Fund I since 2010 and has worked closely with the management on establishing Fund II.
“Agri-Vie is an important partner for Norfund,” said Kjell Roland, Norfund’s chief executive officer (CEO). “There is a considerable investment deficit in the food and agribusiness sector, and we are pleased to see that our investments in this sector also can help catalysing other private investors.”
EXEO Capital operates from offices in Cape Town, Nairobi and Mauritius, and has representation in other major centres such as Johannesburg, Dar Es Salaam, Addis Ababa, Lusaka, Kampala, and Accra.
“This strong local presence enables the investment team to understand local conditions and ensures that the best companies are selected for investment,” said Marais.
“By investing in middle to lower cap companies that have a successful track record and exceptional growth prospects, Agri-Vie plays an active shareholder role in its portfolio companies, supporting them to achieve growth and profitability targets.”