A LEADING player in Nigeria’s agricultural commodities promotion drive, Elephant Group, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a global organisation, AfricInvest for the purpose of boosting the federal government’s backward integration initiatives on rice, crude palm oil and fertilizer Supply Value Chain across the world.
This is in line with the company’s plan to showcase its products at the international market.
At a meeting in Lagos during the week, Founder/Group Managing Director, Elephant Group, Mr. Tunji Owoeye, explained that the company has entered into deal with AfricInvest for an equity investment in Elephant Group. Our Correspondent reports that based on the deal, AfricInvest would acquire a minority equity interest in Elephant Group via issuing new shares. A statement emanating from both parties indicated that “the fund raised will be used to boost Elephant Group’s market share in agricultural commodities trading and deepen penetration of agricultural commodities exports across selected markets in Africa even as the Elephant Group will continue to strengthen its backward integration initiatives in the rice, crude palm oil and fertilizer value chain”.
Owoeye declared: “We are excited to partner with an African-focused investor with experience in the agricultural sector. The investment will enable the Company to benefit further from the federal government’s drive to promote agricultural productivity in Nigeria. It would also allow Elephant Group to transform from an indigenous agricultural commodities company in Nigeria to a vertically integrated pan-African player. This transaction will be the first ever private equity investment in the Nigeria agricultural commodities sector and we view it as a strong vote of confidence in the company”.
Senior Partner and Managing Director of AfricInvest in Nigeria, Abiola Ojo-Osagie said the partnership with the Elephant Group would enable the firm to take advantage of the opportunity to capitalise in Nigeria’s agricultural transformation agenda.
“We have identified a company led by entrepreneurs and a management team with a good knowledge of the domestic market. Our goal is to build an enduring institution with a clear potential for growth and regional expansion,” Osagie noted.
Founded in 1994, Elephant Group is the largest and fastest growing indigenous agro commodities company in Nigeria, which imports, exports, markets and distributes rice, fertiliser and other agro-allied commodities. The Company is currently ranked #4 in rice and fertiliser marketing with market share of 8% and 10% respectively. Elephant Group owns extensive distribution and logistics infrastructure in Nigeria and is a critical link in the supply of main staple foods in Africa’s largest and fastest growing consumer market. The Company also has presence in Ghana, Cameroon, Senegal, Niger and Cote d’Ivoire.
Over the last three years, Elephant Group has focused on executing its backward integration strategy. Elephant Group is also a key player in the Growth Enhancement Support Scheme in Nigeria, supplying fertilizer in 36 states of Nigeria.
Elephant Group’s strategy is aligned with the renewed focus by many African governments on Agriculture towards ensuring food security.
As for AfricInvest, founded in 1994 and which today ranks among the leading private equity firms in North and Sub-Saharan Africa with about 1 billion USD of assets under management across 13 PE funds and sponsored by prestigious DFIs, private and institutional investors, it relies on a team of 50 highly skilled investment professionals with over 130 years of cumulative PE experience, operating in six offices in Tunis, Casablanca, Algiers, Lagos, Abidjan and Nairobi.
The Firm is also a co-founder of the African Venture Capital Associations, the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association and member of the Euromed Capital Forum.