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March 08, 2011

Leading bank takes equity stake in South African fruit concern

Standard Chartered Bank's Private Equity division has announced a 30 per cent equity stake in the Afrifresh Group.

Afrifresh is one of South Africa's top five producers and exporters of citrus fruit and table grapes.

In a statement on March 8, Johan van Schalkwyk, Director in the Africa team of Standard Chartered Private Equity said:"Given our strong presence across Africa, supporting the growth and development of Africa's agricultural sector, is a key objective for the bank across all divisions."

He said this investment is Private Equity's first into the African agricultural sector and expect to make further sound investments in this segment going forward.

The capital will support Afrifresh's continued expansion in line with the Group's ambition to become a world class African producer and exporter of citrus and table grapes.

Afrifresh was founded in 1992 as an agency business, but since 2007, has actively expanded into production through farm acquisitions, creating a more integrated, profitable and sustainable business.

The group now manages 14 farms across South Africa (over 3,000 hectares under irrigation), in addition to its export agency business.

The company's major export markets include the European Union, United Kingdom,Russia as well as the Far and Middle East.


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