Investment to fuel further growth of one of South Africa’s leading raisin processors and more than double its number of jobs
April 19, 2022: One Thousand and One Voices (“1K1V”), a private equity fund the limited partners of which are comprised exclusively of industry-leading families, announced today that Norfund, the Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries, has invested $8 million (R120 million) in South Africa-based raisin processor and distributor Redsun Dried Fruit and Nuts (“Redsun”). Redsun, located along the banks of the Orange River, is expanding its operations with two new state-of-the-art facilities, that will help it to grow its market share in the $33 billion (R490 billion) healthy snacks market.
Redsun is majority-owned by Denver and Stellenbosch-based private equity fund One Thousand & One Voices. 1K1V’s portfolio companies, including Redsun, have exported over $60 million worth of products from Africa to over 35 countries. This economic activity has created thousands of jobs, reducing the poverty gap for tens of thousands of Africans. 1K1V invested growth capital in Redsun in 2015, enabling Redsun to expand its operations and increase its production by over 160%, supported by sourcing product from 270 farmers in Southern Africa annually. Since the 1K1V investment, Redsun’s revenue has almost tripled, and its market share has nearly doubled. Today, Redsun is one of the leading raisin producers in Africa, exporting 95% of its produce to Europe, the Americas and Asia.
South Africa has an optimal climate for high-quality natural raisin production due to its hot and dry conditions. Hendrik Jordaan, President and CEO of 1K1V, said: “Demand for South African raisins has risen after water shortages and rising labour costs in the USA impacted production levels, providing Redsun with a significant opportunity to gain global market share. Norfund’s investment in a company committed to sharing high-quality products with the rest of the world is just one of the ways to increase economic activity and reduce poverty levels in Southern Africa.”
The growth investment by Norfund will enable Redsun to double its current capacity by building the sole raisin processing facility in Vredendal, the fastest-growing frontier for raisin production in South Africa. Vredendal provides diversification and logistical benefits due to it being based in a different intake region with a unique climate that is close to Cape Town, one of Africa’s main ports. Redsun is also diversifying its dried fruit and nut offering by building a pecan nut facility adjacent to its Keimoes raisin facility as it entrenches itself in the fastest growing crop along the Orange River. These growth projects are expected to more than double Redsun’s current employees from 163 to 390 (59 when 1K1V initially invested in 2015).
Peter Kuilman, CEO of Redsun, says: “Redsun is part of the dynamic, growing dried fruit and nut industry in South Africa. The Norfund investment in Redsun will enable us to expand our capacity in terms of product and volume, to supply our customers around the globe with high quality, healthy raisins and pecans.”
Andre Kemp, Investment Manager at Norfund says: “Norfund sees a strategic opportunity to be a part of Redsun’s next growth phase as it diversifies the business into further dried fruit and nut categories and expands raisin processing capacity in the growing Vredendal region while creating good jobs in rural South Africa. We are impressed with the impact 1K1V’s involvement has had on the company and region and look forward to exploring additional collaborations with them in the future.”
Photo used courtesy of Redsun Dried Fruit and Nuts (“Redsun”)
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