EXEO Capital, the Africa-focused mid market private equity firm which manages the Agri-Vie family of funds, is selling its interest in Fairfield Dairy to a private investment trust linked to the firm’s founding family. The KwaZulu-Natal-based dairy producer had been part of the portfolio of Agri-Vie’s $100 million first fund, which is now in its harvesting phase. Terms of the deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, were not disclosed.
Agri-Vie Fund I originally invested in Fairfield Dairy in 2009, and was the fund’s first foray into the dairy sector. Since then the firm has expanded considerably, both strengthening its operations and building a reputation as a dynamic, innovative company. According to EXEO partner Izak Strauss, market interest in the asset prior to the conclusion of the sale was considerable.
“Our investment in Fairfield has closely fitted the Fund’s strategy of partnering with high-quality food and agribusinesses with capital and know-how.” Strauss said. “Furthermore, our investment experience with Fairfield demonstrates the ability of the food and agri sector to generate attractive, risk-adjusted returns.”
In February this year, EXEO announced a first close for the second Agri-Vie fund, landing $100 million and beating the firm’s initial target by 30%. Agri-Vie Fund II, which aims to deliver its investors a net annual return in excess of 15%, will back mid to lower mid cap food and agribusinesses. Typically, it’s expected that investments will range between $5 million and $10 million in size and will initially have a regional bias to East and Southern Africa, while keeping an eye on West Africa for potential investment opportunities in the near future.