Port Louis, the capital of Mauritius. Picture: SUPPLIED/PAM GOLDING/iSTOCK
Port Louis, the capital of Mauritius. Picture: SUPPLIED/PAM GOLDING/iSTOCK

Dale Capital, a Mauritius-listed private equity investment holding company, has completed an inward listing on the ZAR X, seeking to raise $2m (R15m) to invest in high-technology agricultural operations in the island nation.

This is the first inward listing on the ZAR X, which was launched in 2017 to rival the JSE. An inward listing allows investors exposure to foreign companies through domestic channels.

Dale Capital is targeting the Mauritian food market, saying about 70% of food is imported to the island nation, but that it  ultimately wants to also export food, citing the favourable climate.

Dale Capital chair Mark Foulds said after the bottom dropped out of the sugar cane market a number of independent producers just walked away, but access to land remains a key issue in Mauritius.

The company is in the process of branding its agriculture and food business under the St Felix brand. Additionally, it has entered into a strategic partnership with the St Felix Sugar Estate, which owns approximately 3,200ha of land in the south of the island, providing it with scope for expansion.

Dale Capital already has the largest herd of sheep and goats on the island, at 2,000, and hopes to expand this to up to 9,000 over the next five years. The company is also targeting fishing and aquaculture, saying that the ZAR X listing would not only broaden its investor base, but also allow it to look at private equity projects in SA.

“Mauritius has a number of attractive points and is very much like the Luxembourg of Africa,” said Foulds. The island was a hub for almost all money from India coming into Africa, and was rapidly growing, he said.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za