Zeder buys stake in African seed company
Agribusiness group Zeder Investments, which expects to fetch R6.4bn by selling its stake in Pioneer Foods to PepsiCo, says it has agreed to buy 40% of a seed company focused on east and central Africa.
Zeder’s Zaad subsidiary had identified east and central Africa “as important growth areas for seed and agrochemicals”, the group said. “Upon completion, this investment will provide Zaad with access to these markets.”
Zaad had agreed to acquire a 40% stake in the EAS group of companies, with an option to acquire an additional stake in the future, Zeder said.
EAS, an independent seed company, operates in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia. Zeder said Zaad’s seed products and genetics “will enhance the profile of the EAS group of companies”.
In July, independent analyst Anthony Clark speculated that Zeder could use the proceeds of the Pioneer Foods sale to pay down its debt of about R1.5bn and pay a special dividend to shareholders, including PSG. It may also make another bid for Kaap Agri, he said at the time.
Zeder is led by CEO Norman Celliers.