Africa-focused private equity firm, 8 Miles is making the eight investment for its first fund by acquiring a significant minority interest in Blue Skies, a UK-incorporated tropical fruit business with operations in several African countries. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The 8 Miles Fund, which held a $200 million first close in February 2012, backs consumer-driven businesses and service providers across a number of sectors. According to the private equity firm’s website, the fund typically puts between $15 million and $45 million to work in each investment, and are active owners to help their portfolio companies optimize performance.
Headquartered in Northamptonshire, UK, Blue Skies also has operations in Ghana, South Africa, Egypt and Brazil. The company sells premium quality shelf-ready fresh-cut fruit and freshly squeezed juice products to various European retailers which it delivers to them on a daily basis. In 2016, the firm posted revenues totaling £89.6 million or approximately $112 million at current exchange rates.
“This is an exciting opportunity to partner with a highly successful founder and a top-quality management team who have built a business based on solid and unique foundations,” said Doug Able, a Partner at 8 Miles. “We aim to support Blue Skies in their continued growth and help them develop their brand across Africa.”
The company, which employs more than 4,000 people, has plans to expand its 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 markets in Africa.
Gerald Couldrake and Matthew Thompson from Howes Percival advised Blue Skies on the transaction, along with Mike Brown and Craig Chamberlain from MacIntyre Hudson. 8 Miles was advised by Simon Tinkler and Danny Mutisya from Clifford Chance, and Sandip Shah and Andrew Maxwell-Scott from KPMG.