EmVest has received an undisclosed commitment from Truestone Impact Investment Management for its $500 million Emergent African Land Fund.
EmVest was previously part of Emergent Asset Management, and was recently spun out by Susan Payne when she exited the investment group. Payne last year sold her stake in EAM, an emerging markets private equity investment company she founded in 1997, to buyout its Africa-focused EmVest platform. The buyout also included the Emergent African Land Fund.
EmVest is targeting returns of about 20% per annum in the fund over a 7-year period. The fund will commit between $1m and $20million per deal, although the investor is expecting the commitment size to sit between $3million and $5million. EmVest has 11 portfolio companies across Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The company sells almost all of its produce within the continent.
“Food security has been the key driver in setting up EmVest, a theme we identified in 2005 as being a critical one over the next 20 years,” says Payne.” In fact, we have constant off-takes locally for our produce, and sell close to 100% of what we produce to Africans.”
In South Africa, EmVest owns a macadamia nut cracking business, a dried vegetables producer, and a company that produces tomatoes, wheat and soya beans. The group’s marketing and distribution unit, EmVest Foods, is also based in South Africa.
In Mozambique, EmVest owns a 1 000ha greenfield project, a fish farming business and a biofuels project, which is set to commence production of diesel from the oil seed tree in 2012. The company was bought to hedge the rising cost of fuel across Emvest’s portfolio.
Emvest also has a vegetable and dairy farm in Swaziland, and a banana plantation in Zambia. The investor additionally holds 40% of Ariston Holdings a diversified agribusiness listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.