Kuramo in $17.5mln Feronia private placementAfrica Capital Digest
Kuramo Capital Management, an Africa-focused alternative investment management firm headquartered in New York, has participated in a $17.5 million private placement for Feronia Inc, an agribusiness operating in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The deal is being done on behalf of a consortium made up of several of Kuramo’s funds and Congolese entrepreneur Kalaa Mpinga’s investment vehicle, Mafuta Investment Holding.
At the core of Feronia’s portfolio is its palm oil business, Plantations et Huileries du Congo, which it acquired from Unilever in 2009. In November 2015, the UK’s development finance institution CDC acquired a $10 million debenture in the firm to support Feronia’s three, long-established plantations, Lokutu, Yaligemba and Baketa, which had suffered from years of underinvestment and disruption caused by regional conflicts. The plantations produce crude palm oil and palm kernel oil, providing livelihoods for more than 8,000 people who are either directly or indirectly employed by the company. Proceeds from the private placement have been earmarked for working capital purposes as well as support of the firm’s expansion plans for its palm oil business.
“We are looking forward to working with the existing shareholders and management of Feronia to build a great agri-business in Africa,” commented Walé Adeosun,Kuramo’s Founder and Chief Investment Officer. “We particularly appreciate the opportunity of working, once again, with CDC Group with which we have had previous co-investments.”
It’s anticipated that the deal will lose at the end of October. Until them, two of Kuramo’s funds are providing Feronia with an unsecured loan facility up to $4 million whilst the parties work through the necessary closing steps.