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Agri-Vie Fund II takes stake in Maia Group

Staff writer
March 24, 2021, 9:27 p.m.
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EXEO Capital has announced an investment in the Maia Group through its Food and Agribusiness fund, Agri-Vie Fund II, a private equity investment fund focused on food and agribusiness in Sub-Sahara Africa.

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EXEO Capital has announced an investment in the Maia Group through its Food and Agribusiness fund, Agri-Vie Fund II, a private equity investment fund focused on food and agribusiness in Sub-Sahara Africa.

The Maia Group, established by Simon Alston and Stuart Sinclair, is a holding company focused on consumer health businesses and currently includes Wellness Warehouse and True Health Holdings.

Established in 2006, Wellness Warehouse is a natural health, food, beauty and homecare retailer.

The company spans nearly 40 retail stores throughout the country, with another 30 to 40 stores scheduled to be opened in South Africa over the next five years.

Additionally, the company will soon open its first international store in Mauritius and is actively exploring opportunities in other African countries.

Established in 2017 through the acquisition of Absolute Organix, NEO Trading and Natural Organic Wholesale, True Health Holdings is a manufacturer, wholesaler and distributor to the broader natural healthcare market.

This platform company’s focus is on the manufacturing, sourcing and distribution of an extensive catalogue of ethical, natural and organic products to the wider retail industry.

Avril Stassen, Senior Partner at EXEO Capital, said that the decision to invest in this firm follows the strong market growth of the local consumer health sector.

“The growth of the consumer health category has been good in South Africa over the last five years. Increased health awareness and preventative natural healthcare have been the major drivers of this trend, further spurred by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

Stassen added that market research has revealed that the Maia Group, through its investments in Wellness Warehouse and True Health Holdings, is in a prime position to take advantage of this trend and become a market leader in natural consumer healthcare.

Established in 2006, Wellness Warehouse is South Africa’s leading independent natural health and wellness specialist retailer. Today, the company spans nearly 40 retail stores throughout the country, with another 30 to 40 stores scheduled to be opened in South Africa over the next five years. Additionally, the company will soon open its first international store in Mauritius and is actively exploring opportunities in other African countries.

With the acquisition now concluded, Stassen said that the growth strategies of both these companies can now be accelerated.

“The health and wellness theme fits squarely into Agri-Vie’s focus areas – which includes nutraceuticals, natural products, and ingredients with a link to agriculture. Over the coming years, we expect to see some impressive results from the Maia Group,” he said.

Carlos Gomes, Co-founder and Chairman of Wellness Warehouse and True Health Holdings, said: “I am very excited with our new partnership with EXEO. I look forward to the exponential growth we can expect in the burgeoning wellness industry. My brother Sean as co-founder and I, are immensely positive about making our group the most prominent business in the wellness industry.”

Simon Alston, CEO of Wellness Warehouse, added: “We are thrilled to partner with the team at EXEO Capital on this next stage of our growth. Not only do EXEO Capital bring extensive commercial experience and strategic insights to our group, but critically they share our values and understand the important role that a holistic approach to natural health and wellbeing can play in creating healthier communities. This is even more relevant today, and I believe that together we will achieve our ambition of making wellness accessible to more people.”

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