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27four’s Agrarius concludes landmark R550m Shari’ah deal in the agriculture sector

Johannesburg, 20 September 2023: Financial services group, 27four, announces the funding of the acquisition of 100% of the Capespan group, a diversified fruit grower, packer, and distributor of fresh fruit with a global footprint.

This acquisition will be funded by Agrarius Sustainability Engineered™ (RF) Limited, a JSE-listed, Shari’ah-compliant asset-backed, sustainability-linked Sukuk that focuses on investments in the agricultural value chain. Agrarius, introduced by 27four in October 2022, was the first Sukuk to be listed on an exchange in Africa and its debut note issuance on the JSE was oversubscribed. The Capespan acquisition purchase consideration of R550 million will be Agrarius’ second issuance in terms of the note programme, planned for the fourth quarter of 2023.

Agrarius is committed to promoting sustainability in the agriculture industry, and this transaction aligns with its mission to foster both sustainability and innovation in the sector.

The Capespan acquisition
A newly established special purpose acquisition vehicle, funded and controlled by Agrarius, named 3 Sisters (Pty) Ltd, will acquire 100% of the shares in Capespan from its majority shareholder, Zeder Financial Services Limited, and minority shareholders. The acquisition specifically excludes Capespan’s pome fruit primary production operations and the Novo fruit packhouse and is priced at a total cash consideration of R550 million. Subsequently, Capespan will enter into an agreement with Zeder to market the pome fruit and lease the Novo packhouse.

It is further anticipated that, once the Capespan acquisition is finalised, Agrarius and 3 Sisters will form a consortium arrangement with the shareholders of One Million Apples, one of South Africa’s largest apple and pear breeding programmes. This initiative aims to introduce new, market-driven varieties that are optimised for future climate conditions.

Commenting on the Capespan acquisition, Mr Solly Noor, independent non-executive chairman of Agrarius and a respected South African entrepreneur said: “Our journey to fund the Capespan acquisition exemplifies the potential of Shariah-compliant financing to drive transformation in the agriculture sector. It’s about more than profits; it’s about nurturing a sector that feeds nations and sustains livelihoods.”

For additional information, please contact:
Marlene Luizinho
+27 (0)11 442 2464

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