18 April 2012

South Africa: German Group Invests in Local Agriculture

One of Europe's largest development finance institutions, the German Investment Corporation (DEG), has acquired a 10% shareholding in South African agriculture supply chain company Farmsecure Holdings.

Farmsecure, which operates in livestock, field and horticultural crops, is a key player in South Africa's supply chain industry.

A subsidiary of the German development finance bank KfW, DEG first became involved with Farmsecure through its "AgroAfrica" programme, which pledged -100-million to the development of agriculture in developing countries on its establishment in May 2009.

Through "AgroAfrica", DEG provided working capital for Farmsecure's primary agricultural activities.

"Farmsecure has always valued DEG as an international financing partner and has developed a strong and stable relationship with DEG," the company said in a statement this week. "During the past 18 months, the relationship has led to DEG now also becoming a shareholder in the Farmsecure Group."

Farmsecure CEO Jerome Yazbek said Farmsecure had experienced exceptional growth, both organically and by acquisition, and therefore thought it prudent to further strengthen its balance sheet through this equity injection.

"However, we were not only looking for any investor, but for one who shares our vision," Yazbek said. "We are delighted that we can now welcome DEG, one of the largest European development finance institutions, not only as a financing partner, but as a shareholder in our group."

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