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VENTURES AFRICA – Standard Chartered Private Equity, the investment division of Standard Chartered Bank, has invested 150 million Rand ($13.5 million) in Afrifresh Group – one of Southern Africa’s largest integrated fruit producers and exporters.
This capital injection follows an initial $20 million equity investment made in February 2011 to fund the Company’s expansion program, giving StanChart a 30 percent stake in the process.
“Afrifresh is an inspiring South African growth story, which now supports more than 4,000 staff and generates significant export revenues,” said Peter Baird, head of StanChart’s private equity for Africa.
“We are pleased to play a role in Afrifresh’s continued growth across Southern Africa’s agribusiness sector.”
Afrifresh is a leading Southern African agricultural company which focuses on citrus and grape farming and has operations spread across South Africa and Zimbabwe with a global reach spanning 54 export markets.
According to a statement, Afrifresh has achieved “significant growth since its incorporation 15 years ago, expanding its business portfolio to include a wine producing and exporting company, African Pride Wines, food export firm, Berfin, and a raisin company, Fruits du Sud.”
In 1999, the Company made its first farm acquisition, becoming one of the first South African fruit exporters to diversify its earnings stream by implementing a backward integration into farming.