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EXEO Capital sells majority stake in Cape Olive

Staff writer
June 15, 2021, 11:18 a.m.
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Word count: 375

EXEO Capital has announced the exit of its Food and Agribusiness fund, Agri-Vie Fund I, from Cape Olive Holdings, one of the largest table olive suppliers in South Africa.

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EXEO Capital has announced the exit of its Food and Agribusiness fund, Agri-Vie Fund I, from Cape Olive Holdings, one of the largest table olive suppliers in South Africa.

Izak Strauss, Partner and Co-founder of EXEO Capital, said that the firm had sold its 62.7% share, which the EXEO  Agri-Vie Fund I acquired at the beginning of 2013, to Imibala, a subsidiary of the Lona Group and co-shareholder in Cape Olive.

“The reason for the sale is that Agri-Vie Fund I has reached the end of its life after 12 years and is completing the exits from the last of its investments. The return on the investment was in line with our expectations,” he said.

Strauss noted that Agri-Vie Fund I’s investment in Cape Olive, was hugely beneficial for the business.

“Agri-Vie was a stable majority shareholder in Cape Olive for eight years. The involvement of Agri-Vie enabled Cape Olive to expand on essential capex, increase its capacity to process a higher percentage of its crop for the table olive market, and increase efficiencies. During this period Lona also acquired 100% of Imibala.”

The olive industry in South Africa is relatively young compared to Mediterranean countries, where olives have been cultivated for centuries.

The Western Cape is one of the most popular areas in South Africa for cultivation of olives, and there are more than 300 olive growers and producers in South Africa.

Strauss said that Cape Olive has a bright future ahead, as markets start to return to normal.

“The company is a market leader with a strong brand Buffet Olives and an integrated supply chain. It enables them to provide a consistent supply of high-quality table olives to its customers. Cape Olive has also opened up export markets to neighbouring African countries.”

“We know that we leave behind a company that will go from strength to strength,” he said.

Richard Allen, CEO of Cape Olive, added that he has the highest regard for Dave Douglas and Izak Strauss, who were Agri-Vie’s representatives on the board.

“The Cape Olive management team has benefitted greatly from their experience and intellect. The encouragement and support from them and the broader Agri-Vie team, have been the distinguishing features of their tenure as shareholders in the business.”  

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