SOUTH AFRICA – Agribusiness-focused investment holding group Zeder has sold its controlling stake in Capespan to special purpose acquisition vehicle 3 Sisters which is backed by investment firm Agrarius.

The deal provides for all the shares Zeder holds in Capespan and gives the new investor control of the company.

“The deal, valued at USD 29.1 million, aligns with Zeder’s strategic review and is a result of evaluating approaches received for various portfolio assets, said Zeder, headquartered in Stellenbosch, to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

As part of the deal, Zeder will retain its investment in Capespan’s pome farming unit, which consists of the three apple and pear farms and a Novo packhouse. These assets and their employees do not form part of the sale transaction.

In a statement, Capespan said pome farms and Novo will continue to be managed by the current farms and packhouse teams, and the company will continue to provide managerial, administrative and financial services.

According to the statement, Capespan’s grape and citrus farms, as well as Capespan’s farming and marketing operations in South Africa, Namibia, the US, Canada, Europe, India and the UK will remain unaffected by the sale, apart from having a new controlling shareholder.

It is understood that Capespan will also continue to market and sell all the pome fruit produced on the farms, and Novo will continue to pack all the fruit from the farms.

Operating for more than 70 years, Capespan boasts an annual turnover of over USD 159 million and operates in 11 countries.

Meanwhile, the purchaser of Zeder’s investment in Capespan, and the future shareholder of Capespan, 3 Sisters (Pty) Ltd, is a special purpose vehicle owned by a Black Economic Empowerment investment consortium that is supported by a South African agriculture fund.

The company believes that Capespan is a market leader in fruit production and has a successful and sustainable business model on the global fruit marketing stage.

The acquired unit’s vision is to conduct and expand its business while adhering to the same standards, utilizing the same teams and employees, and ensuring no disruption to its customers or service levels while maintaining its high service delivery standards throughout this process.

It also intends to use its experience in the agri-sector and the commercialization of agri-assets, access to cost-effective funding from its funding partner with an appetite for agri-related investments as well as its strong Black Economic to unlock substantial growth opportunities for Capespan in  future.

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