Overview



DESMOND ANNOUNCES PROPOSED ACQUISITION OF EMVEST FOOD PRODUCTS (MAURITIUS)

April 26, 2013 – Vancouver, BC – Desmond Investments Ltd. (TSXV: DLC, "Desmond") is pleased to announce that it has entered into a letter of intent (the "LOI") dated April 24, 2013 to acquire EmVest Food Products (Mauritius) Ltd., which is expected to constitute Desmond's qualifying transaction (the "QT") pursuant to the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange (the "Exchange"). The QT is at arm's length and is not expected to be subject to shareholder approval.

EmVest Food Products (Mauritius) Ltd. and its subsidiaries operate a substantial vertically integrated agricultural, food processing and distribution business with operations in Southern Africa. These include a 1,400 hectare vegetable and cattle farm; a vegetable processing operation; a nut processing factory; and a food storage and distribution facility. EmVest Food Products (Mauritius) Ltd. has in recent years invested heavily in capital expenditures and improvements, and is backed by strong and experienced local management. Further information regarding EmVest Food Products (Mauritius) Ltd., including financial information, will be provided when available.

The LOI contemplates a purchase price of $7,500,000, to be satisfied through the issue of 34,090,909 shares of Desmond in exchange for all the issued and outstanding share capital of EmVest Food Products (Mauritius) Ltd. It is contemplated that Desmond will issue a series of preferred shares to EmVest Food Products (Mauritius) Ltd. on closing that will convert into common shares of Desmond as certain agreed milestones are achieved. The milestones will be negotiated in the definitive agreement between the parties.

It is expected that a concurrent financing will be conducted in connection with the QT, the terms of which remain to be determined. Finder's fees may be payable in connection with the financing, subject to compliance with the Exchange's policies and subject to Exchange approval. Further details on the terms of the financing will be announced when finalized.

EmVest Food Products (Mauritius) Ltd. is incorporated under the laws of Mauritius. EmVest Food Products (Mauritius) Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Pro Alia Investment 1 (Mauritius) Limited ("Pro Alia"), incorporated under the laws of Mauritius. Pro Alia is owned indirectly by a closed end investment fund. Upon completion of the QT, one nominee of EmVest Food Products (Mauritius) Ltd. will be appointed to Desmond's Board of Directors. No other changes to the directors or management is contemplated at this time.

Desmond has also agreed to arrange a USD$1,000,000 loan facility to EmVest Food Products (Mauritius) Ltd. Desmond will immediately loan USD$25,000 to EmVest Nuts Pty Ltd. ("EVN"), a wholly owned subsidiary of EmVest Food Products (Mauritius) Ltd., and a further USD$175,000 to EVN subject to Exchange approval. Desmond has arranged the balance of USD$800,000 to be funded by a third party. The proceeds of the Desmond loan are to be used to fund the working capital requirements of EVN and bear interest at 10% per annum, are repayable in 12 months and are secured against the present and after acquired property of EVN.

A sponsor has not yet been retained in connection with the QT. Trading in the common shares of Desmond will remain halted pending further filings with the Exchange. Further disclosure regarding the financing, beneficial owner(s) of the recipients of the consideration shares to be issued, insiders of the resulting issuer, sponsorship arrangements, and financial information regarding Emvest Food Products (Mauritius) Ltd. must be provided prior to any resumption of trading. Investors are cautioned that, except as disclosed in the disclosure document to be prepared in connection with the QT, any information released or received with respect to the QT may not be accurate or complete and should not be relied upon.

Desmond also announces that the letter of intent entered into between Desmond and Hudye Farms US Inc. has been terminated.

For further information, contact Mark Pajak at:

Phone: +44 203 259 4071
Fax: +44 203 259 4071
Email: mp@desmondandcompany.com

Completion of the transaction is subject to a number of conditions, including but not limited to Exchange acceptance and, if applicable pursuant to Exchange requirements, majority of the minority shareholder approval. Where applicable, the transaction cannot close until the required shareholder approval is obtained. There can be no assurance that the transaction will be completed as proposed or at all. Investors are cautioned that, except as disclosed in the management information circular or filing statement to be prepared in connection with the transaction, any information released or received with respect to the transaction may not be accurate or complete and should not be relied upon. Trading in the securities of a capital pool company should be considered highly speculative.

The TSX Venture Exchange Inc. has in no way passed upon the merits of the proposed transaction and has neither approved nor disapproved the contents of this press release.

Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Forward Looking Information

This news release includes forward looking statements that are subject to assumptions, risks and uncertainties. Statements in this news release which are not purely historical are forward looking statements, including without limitation any statements concerning the Company's intentions, plans, estimates, expectations or beliefs regarding the future. Although the Company believes that any forward looking statements in this news release are reasonable, there can be no assurance that any such forward looking statements will prove to be accurate. The Company cautions readers that all forward looking statements, including without limitation those relating to the Company's future operations and business prospects, are based on assumptions none of which can be assured, and are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those indicated in the forward looking statements. Readers are advised to rely on their own evaluation of such risks and uncertainties and should not place undue reliance on forward looking statements.

Any forward looking statements are made as of the date of this news release, and the Company assumes no obligation to update the forward looking statements, or to update the reasons why actual events or results could or do differ from those projected in the forward looking statements. The Company assumes no obligation to update any forward looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

 

 

UNDP: AFRICA MUST BOOST FOOD OUTPUT TO MAINTAIN GROWTH

African children with cow carcass
Despite high rates of growth across much of Africa, access to food remains a problem

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) says Africa needs to boost agricultural productivity if it is to sustain its economic boom.
The report says African economies have registered "impressive growth rates".
But it says sub-Saharan Africa cannot sustain its present economic resurgence unless it eliminates the hunger that affects nearly a quarter of its people.
The situation affects children in particular, with 40% of African children aged under five malnourished.
UNDP Administrator Helen Clark said at the launch of the report in Kenya: "Impressive GDP [gross domestic product] growth rates in Africa have not translated into the elimination of hunger and malnutrition. Inclusive growth and people-centred approaches to food security are needed."
The report says that simply focusing on agriculture will not be enough to reverse the situation. It calls for new approaches covering multiple sectors, from rural infrastructure to health services, and new forms of social protection and empowering local communities.
"The situation is quite bleak," said Sebastian Levine, a UNDP policy adviser for Africa. "This economic resurgence that we have seen has not really had the impact that we would expect."
The report does, though, highlight some countries where positive action has made a difference. Ghana has become the first sub-Saharan African country to achieve a Millennium Development Goal on halving hunger by 2015, partly by focusing on policies which encouraged cocoa farmers to boost output.
And Malawi has transformed a food deficit into a 1.3 million tonne surplus within two years, thanks to a massive seed and fertiliser subsidy programme.

From the UN report:

Highlights:
• Sub-Saharan Africa's population, 856 million in 2010, is projected to exceed 2 billion shortly after 2050.
• More than one in four Africans - close to 218 million people - is undernourished.
• Two major biases – towards towns rather than rural areas and towards men, not women – have been principal factors in explaining Africa's food insecurity.
• African governments spend between 5-10% of their budgets on agriculture, well below the 20% average that Asian governments devoted to the sector during the green revolution there.
• Women are significant food producers, but their control of land in sub-Saharan Africa is less than in any other region

 

 

AFRICAN AGRICULTURE INVESTOR EMVEST LINKS FUNDING FROM TRUESTONE

February 9, 2012

Sub-Saharan African agriculture investor EmVest Asset Management has received its first allocation from London-based Truestone Impact Investment Management, which focuses on delivering market rate returns from social and environmental investments.

EmVest manages the African Land Fund, a private equity fund focusing on the agricultural sector, with projects in Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The company supports the growth of sub-Saharan Africa through responsible capital allocation sourced from investors in both developed and developing countries. It is a for-profit company that targets a return of 20 per cent per annum, the firm said.

Truestone specialises in impact investment, which it describes as “beyond socially responsible investing”. An impact investment is made to solve specific environmental or social issues, such as clean power, finance to start businesses and social housing.

The firm also has a mandate to generate ‘sensible returns’ for investors in order to succeed in its objectives. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Paul Szkiler, chief executive of Truestone, said, “EmVest represents exactly the type of impact investment we are looking for within the IM Truestone Global Impact Fund. It aims to deliver real improvements in living standards for local workers and communities as well as the potential for attractive financial returns for our investors.”

Bobby Console-Verma, COO of EmVest, added, “EmVest is extremely pleased that an impact investor like Truestone has allocated to the African Land Fund. We see it as an endorsement of our social and investment policies in sub-Saharan Africa.”

 

 

EMVEST GETS FUNDS FROM TRUESTONE

February 10, 2012

EmVest has received an undisclosed commitment from Truestone Impact Investment Management for its $500 million African Land Fund.

EmVest was previously part of Asset Management, and was recently spun out by Susan Payne when she exited the investment group. Payne last year sold her stake in EAM, an emerging markets private equity investment company she founded in 1997, to buyout its Africa-focused EmVest platform. The buyout also included the African Land Fund.

EmVest is targeting returns of about 20% per annum in the fund over a 7-year period. The fund will commit between $1m and $20million per deal, although the investor is expecting the commitment size to sit between $3million and $5million. EmVest has 11 portfolio companies across Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The company sells almost all of its produce within the continent.

“Food security has been the key driver in setting up EmVest, a theme we identified in 2005 as being a critical one over the next 20 years,” says Payne.” In fact, we have constant off-takes locally for our produce, and sell close to 100% of what we produce to Africans.”

In South Africa, EmVest owns a macadamia nut cracking business, a dried vegetables producer, and a company that produces tomatoes, wheat and soya beans. The group’s marketing and distribution unit, EmVest Foods, is also based in South Africa.

In Mozambique, EmVest owns a 1 000ha greenfield project, a fish farming business and a biofuels project, which is set to commence production of diesel from the oil seed tree in 2012. The company was bought to hedge the rising cost of fuel across Emvest’s portfolio.

Emvest also has a vegetable and dairy farm in Swaziland, and a banana plantation in Zambia. The investor additionally holds 40% of Ariston Holdings a diversified agribusiness listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.

 

 

PRESS RELEASE FROM EMVEST ASSET MANAGEMENT

EMVEST RECEIVES TRUESTONE INVESTMENT FOR AFRICAN LAND FUND

(LONDON – 8 FEBRUARY 2012) – EmVest Asset Management, a diversified agricultural investment company in sub-Saharan Africa, has received its first allocation from Truestone Impact Investment Management, which focuses on delivering market rate returns from social and environmental investments.

EmVest manages the African Land Fund, a private equity fund focusing on the agricultural sector, with projects in Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The company supports the growth of sub-Saharan Africa through responsible capital allocation sourced from investors in both developed and developing countries. It is a for-profit company that targets a return of 20% per annum.

Truestone specialises in ‘impact investment’, which it describes as ‘beyond socially responsible investing’. An impact investment is made to solve specific environmental or social issues; clean power, finance to start businesses and social housing are examples. Truestone, however, is also required to generate sensible returns for investors in order to succeed in its objectives.

“EmVest represents exactly the type of impact investment we are looking for within the IM Truestone Global Impact Fund,” said Paul Szkiler, Chief Executive of Truestone Impact Investment Management. “It aims to deliver real improvements in living standards for local workers and communities as well as the potential for attractive financial returns for our investors.”

“EmVest is extremely pleased that an impact investor like Truestone has allocated to the African Land Fund,” added Bobby Console-Verma, Chief Operating Officer of EmVest. “We see it as an endorsement of our social and investment policies in sub-Saharan Africa.”

http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewherper/2012/01/24/bill-gates-next-target-revolutionize-farming

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704677404576284392172179016.html

http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/Sizing_Africas_business_opportunities_2633

 

 

GAZA - New business boosts agricultural production in Chokwe

A new agricultural enterprise, investment from South Africa, called Emvest Limpopo, was born near the village of Matuba, about four kilometres within the district of Chokwe, in Gaza province. The company's opening ceremony was celebrated on Wednesday, exuberantly by local people. However still at an early stage the investment covers an area of ​​just over 1,000 hectares in production of potatoes, tomatoes and corn, having invested so far, more than eight million U.S. dollars.

Maputo, Monday, August 1, 2011

To read the rest of the article, click here


 

Agricultural Review Online - Journal of the Agricultural industry in Africa

Emvest Limpopo – Matuba Farm

The EmVest Limpopo project is located on the Matuba Estate in the Chokwe District of Mozambique. The Matuba Estate forms part of the portfolio of the African Land Fund, a private equity fund focusing on the agricultural sector within sub Saharan Africa, which is managed by EmVest.

The project began in November 2009 and is focused primarily on the development and transformation of 1,500 hectares of virgin bush into arable lands over two phases, all of which will be under irrigation.

The total investment value of the project is US$ 9million; with the first phase requiring US$ 7million and the second phase requiring US$ 2million.

To read the rest of the article, click here


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