A private equity fund focused on agribusiness and food investments in Sub-Saharan Africa has raised $110 million, surpassing its $100 million target. It held a $40 million first close in September 2008.
Dubbed Agri-Vie, the fund is backed by South African private equity firm Sanlam Private Equity and South African investment firm SP-Aktif. The fund attracted commitments from LPs including the African Development Bank and US charitable trust the WK Kellogg Foundation.
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Herman Marais, executive director at SP-Aktif, is chief executive of Agri-Vie and is leading the fund's investment programme. To date, it has invested in five companies including Dew Crisp, a packaged salad maker; tropical fruit grower and juice company AfricaJUICE; and ecotourism operator Asilia.
Over and above the opportunities associated with the prevailing global food and commodities cycle, there is growing demand globally for various African exports.