Agri-Vie Fund I, the Africa Food and Agribusiness Investment Fund managed by the pan-African private equity investment firm, EXEO Capital, has announced its exit from InteliChem, a leading provider of crop protection solutions, specialised plant nutrition and seeds to the agricultural industry and related peripherals.
The Agri-Vie interest was sold to Masimong Group Holdings, a black-owned investment company, concluding a mutually-rewarding six-year partnership between EXEO Capital and the Intelichem founders. Through the investment, Agri-Vie was able to broaden its network and build excellent relationships in the sector, while providing capital to InteliChem for growth and assisting the company in identifying and evaluating growth opportunities by its active board participation.
“The contribution of Agri-Vie as shareholder of InteliChem was very constructive. We managed to grow the business substantially during the investment period and Agri-Vie provided valuable strategic input as part of this process,” says Gideon Hefer, InteliChem CEO.
EXEO Capital partner, Izak Strauss notes the vital role that companies like InteliChem play in ensuring future food security in South Africa. “By assisting producers to increase crop yields, retain quality standards and adhere to food safety measurement, InteliChem helps to ensure the long-term production of food on a sustainable basis.”
With the continued growth in world population, he adds that the demand for quality and safe food at affordable prices is increasing. “The company have a holistic approach to assist producers in this regard, in order to ultimately increase the profitability of its clients.”
“Through transferring our interest in Intelichem to a pre-eminent black empowerment group, we were also able to contribute to economic transformation in the South African agribusiness sector while the company has gained a valuable partner”, says Strauss.
In the face of challenging operating conditions for InteliChem, Strauss says that the final return on investment was in line with expected returns on private equity investments. “The growth of the business was definitely affected by the recent droughts in South Africa. However, we were satisfied with the final return on investment achieved,” Strauss concludes.
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