Helios Investment Partners acquires African fertilizers and inputs operations
Helios Investment Partners (“Helios”), the leading Africa-focused private investment firm, has today announced the acquisition of 100% of Fertilizers and Inputs Holding B.V. (the “Company”), which holds Louis Dreyfus Company’s (“LDC”) Africa-based fertilizers and inputs operations.
Formerly part of SCPA Sivex International (“SSI”) and acquired by LDC in 2011, the Company distributes fertilizers, crop protection products, seeds as well as industrial chemicals through a network spanning Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Mali and Senegal. Since its establishment in the region in 1947, the Company has been a leading distributor of crop inputs and industrial chemicals, leveraging its well-known brand, “La Cigogne”. The Company generates approximately US$300 million in sales annually.
Fertilizers and Inputs Holding B.V. contributes to Africa’s economic development by helping improve agricultural yields through enhanced access to crop inputs and by encouraging local manufacturing through the supply of chemical ingredients. This includes the water purification industry, which is vital for the continent. In addition, as part of its distribution activities, the Company educates and trains farmers and rural communities on agricultural best practices, facilitating the increase of farm productivity and rural incomes.
Alykhan Nathoo, Partner at Helios, commented: “We are excited to invest in a business that has considerable scale and a long history in its key markets. Louis Dreyfus Company has been successful at expanding its fertilizers and inputs distribution network in Africa, which stands to benefit from the growing size and sophistication of the continent’s agriculture and industry. We look forward to providing expansion capital and working with management and key stakeholders to accelerate the growth of the business.”
Souleymane Ba, Partner at Helios, added: "This transaction is a perfect example of Helios' strategy of investing in core sectors of the economy to build pan-African champions. Agriculture, which employs nearly half of Africa’s labour force, is the most important contributor to Africa’s GDP; we are looking forward to using our experience in successfully growing other multi-country distribution platforms in this key sector, ultimately helping increase yields and incomes for African farmers.”
Gonzalo Ramírez Martiarena, Chief Executive Officer of Louis Dreyfus Company, said: “Our global fertilizers and inputs business has been expanding its reach, sales volumes and customer network in recent years. This transaction is fully in line with our strategy of concentrating on businesses in which we enjoy closer ties to product origination and farmer relationships. It will also allow us to strengthen our focus on forging partnerships in other geographies outside Africa. Through our Macrofertil brand, we can continue to deliver a diversified range of fertilizers and inputs products and high-quality services to our customers in the rest of the world.”
The closing of the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary conditions.
Credit Suisse acted as sole financial advisor to LDC on this transaction and Norton Rose Fulbright acted as LDC’s primary legal advisor.
Standard Chartered and Société Générale acted as financial advisors and financing arrangers to Helios and Vinson & Elkins acted as Helios’ primary legal advisor.