Old Mutual Raises Stake in UFF African Agri Investments
May 25, 2016
Old Mutual Investment Group, Africa’s largest manager of real assets, announced it has increased its stake in the African agriculture investment group, UFF African Agri Investments, to 49%.
As a leading specialist in agricultural investments in Africa, UFF African Agri Investments has served as a long-standing advisor to Old Mutual Investment Group through its Futuregrowth Agri and Old Mutual Agri Funds. This stake increase will serve to strengthen the existing ties between the two companies, that together foresee African farmland investment opportunities totaling $500 million over the next three years.
“…we have a deep belief in the opportunities in agricultural investing across the African continent,” notes Diane Radley, CEO of Old Mutual Investment Group. “Agriculture as an asset class has already gained huge momentum globally, but is still in its infancy in Africa. This presents a significant investment opportunity for both local and international investors.”
“The UN estimates that agriculture’s investment gap for the 15 years to 2030 is US$260 billion annually in the developing world,” Old Mutual explains on its website. “If you consider that only 7% of Africa’s 39 million hectares of arable land is under irrigation and the potential for agriculture to alleviate both poverty and unemployment, the investment growth and impact opportunities inherent in the African agricultural sector are clear.”
“Agriculture is a vital economic driver in Africa given a number of socio-economic factors, including population growth, poverty and unemployment,” comments UFF co-founder Duncan Vink. “These factors present acute challenges and make unlocking our agricultural potential not just an attractive option, but a necessity,”
The two companies are also closely tied through their mutual ethos in regard to socially responsible and sustainable investment. All farms within the portfolio benefit from a comprehensive education, healthcare and/or housing programs for their workers, with 6% of UFF’s rental revenues invested in social economic projects targeting education, housing, and healthcare.
In addition, Ms. Radley notes, “All farms are assessed and monitored on compliance to International Finance Corporations standards on environmental, social and governance standards encompassing standards set by the International Labour Organization (ILO), United Nations (UN), World Health Organization (WHO), Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and local legislation.”
“We couldn’t have chosen a better company to partner with than the Old Mutual Investment Group, an organization [sic] that is fully aligned with our vision of the significant opportunities that African agricultural investing present, together with making a positive change on the continent,” says Vink. “We are looking forward to further compounding an already strong and fruitful relationship and believe that this transaction will drive the future growth of each organisation [sic] as well as the broader African continent.”
GAI News staff
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