Compagnie Fruitière attracts new minority investors post-Dole

The French fruit producer, exporter and distributor has attracted investment from subsidiaries of Société Générale and Crédit Agricole and food and agri investment firm Unigrains.

Food and agri investment firm Unigrains has partnered with subsidiaries of Société Générale and Credit Agricole to buy a minority stake in Compagnie Fruitière, a French company producing, exporting and distributing fruit from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific zone.

Crédit Agricole’s subsidiary, IDIA Capital Investissement, was lead manager alongside Unigrains. IDIA Capital supports Crédit Agricole’s capital activities in the agriculture sector globally and also manages land, forests and vineyards.  It manages around €1.5 billion, according to a press release.

Unigrains, which supports companies in the food and agriculture industry with tailored equity or quasi-equity financial solutions, is partnered with over 200 companies managing around €1 billion.

Société Générale Capital Partenaires was a co-investor. The subsidiary of the French group invests between €300,000 and €10 million into small- and medium-sized companies on behalf of its parent and provides advice and support to companies during development, restructuring and more.

Dole, the US fruit and vegetable producer, recently sold its 40 percent stake in Compagnie Fruitière after 21 years of confederation; it sold its stake back to the founding family to pursue different growth objectives last May.

“Unigrains is delighted to support Compagnie Fruitière in its international investment programme,” said Unigrains’ investments and development director Didier Bosc and Sébastien Haselint, investments and development director, in a press release. “This fantastic French [company] has been led for 75 years by the founding family and is established and recognised in West Africa in the field of agricultural production, transportation and logistics of fruits.”

“We were won over by a resilient business model based on the total control of the fruit chain with a strong presence in production,” said Arnaud Pradier, associate director, and Manuel Leal, investments director at IDIA.