NAMIBIA – The Euphrates Agri fund, managed by Namibian private equity firm Eos Capital, has acquired a minority stake in Cherry Irrigation for an undisclosed amount.

Cherry Irrigation was established in South Africa in 1987 with irrigation design as the focus service and has grown to offer irrigation automation, and installation services.

The Namibian unit was opened in 2020 and has seen strong growth since then despite COVID-19.

The investment acquired will be used as growth capital with aim to increase irrigated land in Namibia, thereby improve food production in the country.

Following the investment, Eos expects Cherry Irrigation to create 20-25 permanent jobs and 40-50 temporary jobs when installing large scale irrigation systems on farms.

Frederico van Wyk, Eos Capital Associate Principal said, “We are excited about the growth potential of the business given the need for Namibia to increase irrigation to protect itself from the impacts of climate change.

“This will improve food security of the country as well as increase the export of high value crops. Not only will this bring attractive returns for investors but will also have a sustainable positive impact on the country.”

This represents the first deal for Eos under the banner of its Euphrates Agri Fund, which is the first Namibian agri private equity fund.

The fund recently closed its first N$90 million (US$5.7 million) funding round.

Euphrates targets agriculture investments across the value chain through equity funding with the aim of generating long-term, stable returns for its investors and having a sustainable impact in Namibia on climate change, wealth inequality and empowerment of women.

Under its mandate, the Euphrates Agri Fund will invest through equity and quasi-equity deals in unlisted companies focused on agro processing, distribution, logistics, commercial production, biomass, fertilizers, seeds, animal products, retail, and equipment.

The Euphrates Agri Fund is the third funding initiative from Eos Capital, with the first being N$460 million Allegrow Fund which is a growth and operational development fund aimed to provide equity, debt and mezzanine finance to fast-growing local businesses.

The second initiative is the N$500 million Namibia Infrastructure Development and Investment Fund (NIDIF), an infrastructure platform to develop, acquire, invest in, build, operate and hold infrastructure assets.

Under the NIDIF, EOS Capital recently partnered with Climate Fund Managers (CFM) to invest US$ 60 million (N$990 million) in Kelp Blue, a sustainable oceanic aquaculture enterprise focused on addressing the challenges of climate change and restoring the health of marine ecosystems through commercially viable solutions.

Kelp is a fast-growing seaweed and has the ability to sequester more CO2 than terrestrial forests while boosting marine biodiversity and improving fish stocks.

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