Imperial expands its cold chain capabilities, product offering with acquisition of Deep Catch Namibia Holdings

SOUTHERN AFRICA – Imperial, South Africa headquartered logistics company is eyeing full acquisition of the leading supplier and distributor of perishable foods in the SADC region, Deep Catch Namibia Holdings, for an estimated purchase consideration of N$633m (42.5m).

Imperial through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Imperial Capital Limited, has entered into an agreement with the investment consortium backing Deep Catch i.e., Salt Capital, German development finance institution (DEG) and management shareholders for a possible sale deal.

According to Imperial, the transaction is still subject to the fulfilment of regulatory and other outstanding conditions which include 50% of the payment to Management Shareholders will be deferred and paid in 3 equal tranches in FY22, FY23 and FY24, based on performance of Deep Catch.

“Access to Sub-Saharan African markets with Imperial’s pioneering market access capability will enable expansion of its cold chain footprint and provide the essential logistics to simultaneously service affordable protein imports and in-country local food producers route to market.”

Group director and co-founder of Deep Catch – Lewton Geyser

Deep Catch is a diversified and vertically integrated business engaged in the wholesale, distribution and cold storage of perishable foods mainly poultry, fish and dairy products.

The company is headquartered in Namibia and comprises of three distinctive, yet commercially integrating, divisions spread across South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Its flagship unit, Deep Catch Trading division, is a leading importer of meat and poultry products, operating alongside the Seapride unit, the group’s foodservice and retail distributor.

The two entities are supported by its Prosperita Commercial Cold Store, Atlantic Commercial Cold Store and the Camel Thorn Freight Forwarders.

“Access to Sub-Saharan African markets with Imperial’s pioneering market access capability will enable expansion of its cold chain footprint and provide the essential logistics to simultaneously service affordable protein imports and in-country local food producers route to market,” Group director and co-founder of Deep Catch, Lewton Geyser, said.

The acquisition will enable Imperial to enter and build its cold chain capability and product category expansion in its existing markets of operation in Sub-Saharan Africa (mainly South Africa, Mozambique, Ghana and Nigeria), where there is substantial demand for affordable protein products.

It will also provide access to defensive, value-added capabilities in FMCG, such as re-packaging.

“Imperial is excited about this acquisition which is in line with our ‘Gateway to Africa’ strategy. It provides our Market Access business with the opportunity to increase our reach into the consumer market and expand our footprint with new capabilities on the African continent,” said Imperial’s Group CEO, Mohammed Akoojee.

Jan Bosch, Managing Partner of Salt Capital, commenting on the transaction stated, “Our investment in Deep Catch has been a successful journey largely due to the driven management team and their ability to grow market share.

“We wish the Deep Catch team every success as the business enters a new and exciting era under the management of Imperial.”

Anne Keppler, Regional Director of Southern Africa at DEG, added, “The investment in Deep Catch has succeeded in not only supporting management’s growth aspirations but also in positively contributing to local income and job creation in line with DEG’s developmental objectives.”

The acquisition further expands Imperial’s market share in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) cold chain logistics market, which was estimated at US$23.8 billion in 2021, according to Market Data Forecast and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 7.4% to reach US$35.1 billion by 2026.

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