The Middle East and Africa's leading private equity firm increases its stake in Wafra, a commercial farming investment covering both Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan
Citadel Capital (CCAP.CA on the Egyptian Stock Exchange), the leading private equity firm in the Middle East and Africa, announced today that it has increased its stake to 99.9% in Wafra, an agricultural platform with operations in Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan. The current paid equity capital of Wafra amounts to US$ 44.3 million. In addition Wafra has also secured US$ 9 million of debt funding to date. Citadel Capital acquired its stake by capitalizing shareholder loans.
“Citadel Capital is pleased to own this world class agricultural investment,” said Citadel Capital Chairman and Founder,” Ahmed Heikal. “We are confident that cultivation will continue as planned with major improvements on yield per acre in the coming months.”
Wafra currently owns 94% of Sabina, which is developing 254,000 feddans (264,000 acres) of land in the Republic of the Sudan and 96% of Concord, which holds 250,000 feddans (260,000 acres) in the Republic of South Sudan.
In July 2011 Wafra released details of recent operational milestones including the conclusion of its first commercial wheat harvest at Sabina. The 1,000-feddan harvest was taken to market at US$ 450 per ton, more than US$ 100 per ton above target.
Sabina has thus far developed 4,200 feddans (4,600 acres), which is being harvested. The January crop will be 4,200 feddans (4,600 acres) and the June crop will be 8,500 feddans (8,823 acres). As for Concord, it is developing 3,500 feddans (3,633 acres) for planting in June 2012. The company will require an additional US$ 11 million in equity.
In parallel with the increased production, Sabina has developed a model that is sustainable and profitable for both the company and the local communities in which it is investing. Under the terms of its agreement with the local government, an average of 22% of Sabina’s agricultural yield is earmarked for the local community to improve their livelihoods and provide much needed commodities to the local market. Following the completion of Sabina’s operations 33% of the existing irrigation schemes and 15% of the land will be handed back to local farmers.
In order to allow for migratory tribes and preserve bio-diversity, Concord will only be cultivating 120,000 acres (116,000 feddans) of the total 260,000-acre (250,000 feddans) plot of land that it currently holds near the city of Bentiu in the Republic of South Sudan’s Unity State (Welayat al Wehda).
Heikal added that, “Next year Wafra is expected to be cash flow positive operationally. With the crop variety testing results obtained to date and the yield data from recent and current harvest cycles Wafra will commission a revised development master plan for the entire area of leased land. This will include significant social and environmental elements. Starting in 2013 we hope to be able to fast-track development in both Sabina in Sudan and Concord in the Republic of South Sudan.”
Wafra is Citadel Capital’s Platform Company for investment in the Sudanese agriculture industry and includes Portfolio Companies Concord (250,000 feddans in the Republic of South Sudan) and Sabina (254,000 feddans in the Republic of the Sudan).
Citadel Capital (CCAP.CA on the Egyptian Stock Exchange) is the leading private equity firm in the Middle East and Africa. Citadel Capital focuses on building regional platforms in select industries through acquisitions, turnarounds, and greenfields executed via Opportunity-Specific Funds. The firm’s 19 OSFs control Platform Companies with investments of US$ 9.0 billion in 15 countries spanning 15 industries, including mining, cement, transportation, food and energy. Since 2004, Citadel Capital has generated more than US$ 2.2 billion in cash returns to its co-investors and shareholders (on investments of US$ 650 million), more than any other private equity firm in the region. Citadel Capital is the largest private equity firm in Africa by PE assets under management (2006-2011, as ranked by Private Equity International). For more information, please visit www.citadelcapital.com.
For more information, please contact:
Ms. Ghada Hammouda
Head of Corporate Communications
Citadel Capital (S.A.E.)
g...@qalaaholdings.com (click to reveal this email)
Tel: +20 2 2791-4440
Fax: +20 22 791-4448
Mobile: +20 10 6662-0002