Picture: MARK SAMPSON
Picture: MARK SAMPSON

US-based private family capital fund One Thousand And One Voices (1K1V), which made two agribusinesses investments in SA in the past two years, has splashed out on a trout farm.

On Monday, the fund announced an undisclosed investment for a controlling stake in Sanlei, a trout producer and processor with headquarters in Lesotho. Sanlei’s trout farm serves the South African and Japanese markets.

The investment would help grow Sanlei into a formidable African trout producer and exporter, 1K1V CEO Hendrik Jordaan said. The company had already secured a strategic marketing and distribution agreement with supermarket chain CGC Japan, which had more than 4,000 stores, he said.

Jordaan would not reveal the cost of the investment, but 1K1V has previously indicated a mandate to make investments of at least $10m in each company in its portfolio. 1K1V looked for competitive moats when building its investment portfolio, Jordaan said. Sanlei was located on the shores of the Katse Dam in the Lesotho highlands and its pristine, deep waters created a highly favourable environment for growing premium trout.

Other aquaculture opportunities could be sought in Southern Africa, Jordaan said.

JSE-listed companies AVI (via I&J) and African Empowerment Equity Investments (via Premier Fishing) already hold significant aquaculture interests in the abalone sector.

1K1V was funded by 30 of the world’s wealthiest families including the Coors (beer) and Belk (retail) families, to the tune of $300m.

The Sanlei transaction represents the private family capital fund’s third investment in Africa, following investments made in Kalahari-based raisin processor Redsun Dried Fruit & Nut and meat exporter Beefmaster.

hasenfussm@fm.co.za

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