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IFC Supports Agribusiness SMEs in Sub-Saharan Africa


Washington D.C.:
Irina Likhachova
Phone: (202) 473-1813

E-mail:
ilikhachova@ifc.org

Johannesburg:

Houtan Bassiri
Phone: +27 11 731 3179

E-mail:
hbassiri@ifc.org

Cape Town:

Tania Brand-Kriegler

Phone: +27 21 913 5662

Email: office@agrivie.com


Washington, D.C., July 6, 2010 – IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, committed a $7 million equity investment in Agri-Vie Agribusiness Private Equity Fund financing food and agribusiness companies in Sub-Saharan Africa.  

Agri-Vie seeks to make equity investments in commercially attractive food and agribusiness companies with strong management that need equity financing to pursue their growth business plans and go to the next level of performance through corporate governance and financial structure improvement. By supporting the growth of commercial agribusiness enterprises, the Fund promotes local entrepreneurship, local economic empowerment, agribusiness development, and job creation. The fund has made five investments since its inception.


“Agri-Vie’s Management Team has developed substantive expertise in investing in the agribusiness sector and the Fund is a specialized, pioneer agribusiness private equity investor in the Region. The Fund adds value to its investee companies by improving their financial structure, participating actively on companies’ boards, assisting in strategy development and implementation, helping improve corporate governance and environmental and social standards, and providing financial advice”, said Mr. Herman Marais, Agri-Vie’s Managing Director. IFC’s support in the further development of the Fund has been instrumental in the positioning of Agri-Vie in the investor market, Marais sad.


“By supporting Agri-Vie, IFC can effectively channel its financing to reach small and medium food and agri companies in Sub-Saharan Africa. This complements IFC’s direct financing to larger enterprises as we seek to promote the growth of the agricultural sector to create opportunities for the rural population and improve food security on the continent,” said Oscar Chemerinski, IFC’s Director of Global Agribusiness Department.


IFC's strategy in Sub-Saharan Africa focuses on proactively engaging with the private sector through investments and advisory services to support new private investments, offering products and services to support smaller businesses, and helping to improve the region's investment climate. IFC also focuses on the poorest countries and those affected by conflict, and priority sectors such as agribusiness.


About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing capital for private enterprise, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.

About Agri-Vie

Agri-Vie is a private equity investment fund focused on food and agribusiness in Sub-Saharan Africa.Agri-Vie’s mission is to generate a commercial return, as well as demonstrable socio-economic development impacts through equity investments in agribusinesses. Agri-Vie’s vision is to be a catalyst for sustainable growth through investing in one of the foundation sectors of Africa’s economies. The fund seeks to realise this vision through deploying development capital and management know-how according to sound investment and business principles.