Kenyan-based investment firm, Fanisi Capital, has injected $3 million (Sh251 million) in Rwandese agribusiness company ProDev Group Holdings. This is the second investment by Fanisi Capital in a Rwandese firm this year.
ProDev, through a subsidiary Minimex Ltd specialises in processing maize into branded flour, grit for the brewing industry and bran for cattle. It also handles, dries and stores maize through another subsidiary, ProDev Rwanda.
Fanisi Capital has invested the money through a mix of equity and debt, which will see it get a minority stake and board representation in ProDev.
“With the new investment by Fanisi, ProDev Rwanda plans to increase its storage capacity progressively from the current 2,000 tonnes to 10,000 tonnes,” said Fanisi Capital in a statement.
Minimex said that Fanisi’s investment will see factory utilisation increase to over 60 per cent by the end of the year, which translates to 24,000 tonnes of flour churning from miller.
ProDev said that Bralirwa, Rwanda’s largest brewer, is set to buy its maize grit for use in beer production, in line with the brewer’s plan to use locally-sourced ingredients.
In the next one year, a plant will also be put up to add value to bran, a maize processing by-product that is sold as cattle feed. In January, Fanisi Capital invested in Sophar Ltd, a Kigali-based drugs wholesaler through a mixture of equity and debt.
Fanisi said the Sophar deal ranged between $1 million (Sh84 million) and $3 million (Sh251 million). Fanisi Capital invests in businesses that have a history of profitability and an annual turnover of between $1 million (Sh84 million) and $8 million (Sh670 million).
Agriculture and the food and beverage industries are among sectors that are seen to be favourites amongst investors in the region.
A report by consultancy firm Deloitte found that out of 14 sectors surveyed, agriculture was the second most preferred area to invest among private equity funds, while the food and beverage sector was the fifth. Financial services ranked first.
Deloitte’s survey found that 13 per cent of respondents favoured agriculture as the area most likely to get investment this year, slightly below the financial services sector which had a score of 14 per cent. The food and beverage industry had a 10 per cent rating.
Fanisi Capital invests in companies that engage in agribusiness, health, financial services, education and the retail business sectors. Other investments include the Hillcrest Group of Schools which it bought in 2011 and Paystream Limited, a company that sells point of sales terminals, where it invested $1 million in 2010.
Kigali has lately attracted high interest from investment firms due to its rapid economic growth. Private equity firm Fusion Capital won a $16.9 million (Sh1.4 billion) contract to develop a shopping complex for Rwanda’s Kigali County Council in January.