TUNISIA – Gulf capital, a Middle East – based asset management firm, has invested US$22 million in Tunisia’s largest organic and natural olive oil producer, CHO Company.

Abdelaziz Makhloufi, founder and chairman of CHO Company, said that the funding will facilitate the company’s growth and expansion plan and infiltration into the global market.

“Gulf Capital’s funding will further support our integration plans, through expanding our olive grove plantations across Tunisia.

We are fully committed to growing Terra Delyssa’s presence and reach new markets globally,” he said

Christopher Foll, Senior Managing Director, Private Debt at Gulf Capital added that the investment marks Gulf’s commitment in supporting growing companies in emerging markets.

“CHO Company has done an outstanding job at establishing itself as the ‘farm-to-fork’ leader in the olive oil sector in Tunisia.

We are delighted to support the company’s continued growth and integration. This transaction will help CHO Company further expand its operations throughout the olive oil production value chain.

Gulf Capital has become the partner of choice for sector leaders in the region looking at adaptable financing solutions for their growth plans,” he said.

Additionally, Adam Hadidi, Managing Director, Private Debt at Gulf Capital noted that as a major contributor to Tunisia’s economy, the agricultural sector remains a viable investment for CHO’s future growth an expansion plan.

The deal marks the seventh investment for Gulf Capital from its US$251 million second private debt fund and its first investment in Tunisia.

CHO Company was established in 1996 as an olive oil bulk trader operating a single crushing mill and has since then grown to become one of the largest “farm-to-fork” operation in the sector globally, using sustainable farming methods.

The company operates its own orchards, mills, extraction facilities for organic and natural olive oil and pomace oil and has three distribution centres in the United States.

CHO boasts of 6,975,000 olive trees pruned and harvested annually in Tunisia by its 28,000 seasonal and full-time farmers,

Its large olive oil milling operation is based in Sfax, Tunisia, producing over 10 million gallons of first cold press extra virgin olive oil and supply to food, cosmetic, and supplement manufacturing industries worldwide.

As the largest producers and exporters of olive oil in Tunisia, CHO Company accounts for more than 50% of the country’s branded olive oil exports.

Its customers include retailers in Tunisia, the US, Canada, Europe, China, Brazil, Mexico and Colombia.