8 Miles makes minority investment in Blue Skies

The investment was made from 8 Miles’ first fund, Fund I A, which closed in August 2013 on roughly $200 million, sources confirmed to sister title Agri Investor.

Pan-African private equity firm 8 Miles has made an investment in Blue Skies, a UK and Ghana-based leader in the production of fresh-cut tropical fruit and juices, for a minority stake in the business.

The investment was made from 8 Miles’ first fund, Fund I A, which closed in August 2013 on roughly $200 million, sources confirmed to Private Equity International's sister title Agri Investor.

Blue Skies holds a leading position in shelf-ready fresh-cut fruit and freshly squeezed juice products in European supermarkets and also has operations in several African countries.

The investment will help to expand the company’s core fresh cut fruit business, increase production capacity in South Africa, launch a fresh juice operation in Egypt, and develop new product lines for some of its African markets, according to a company statement.

Its operations in Ghana, South Africa, Egypt, Brazil and the UK employ more than 4,000 people, and the company £89.6 million (€1.16 million; $1.26 million) in revenues in 2016, according to the statement.

8 Miles’ previous portfolio company investments included a 33 percent stake in Verde Beef Processing, an Ethiopian beef processing business; and a majority stake in Biyizika Poultry International Limited, a Ugandan leader in the production and sale of poultry and poultry feed.

Typical investment range between $15 million and $45 million, according to the company website. The firm declined to comment.