Nigeria’s Verod Capital makes first agri investment

The Lagos-based private equity firm has bought a catfish and tilapia fisheries facility in Nigeria as it plans to invest more into the agribusiness sector.

Verod Capital, a Lagos-based private equity firm, has purchased a 10,000-tonnes catfish and tilapia fisheries facility as part of a plan to increase its focus on agribusiness. The deal is its first in the sector.

The firm will also increase its focus on consumer products and services, according to Danladi Verheijen, managing director of Verod.

“We think that those are sectors with massive amounts of demand and very little supply,” Verheijen told Agri Investor. “One of our investment theses is import substitution. Nigeria is rife with players that import goods but want to manufacture locally. Enabling them to do so will create more value and also help local governments.”

Verheijen is put off by companies that have too much government involvement and ensures that each portfolio company is engaged with the right partners.

The firm does not currently have a fund but instead raises capital on a deal-by-deal basis. The fisheries acquisition counts for its ninth investment since launching in 2008, according to Verheijen.

The firm has only invested in Nigerian companies to date across real estate, construction, light manufacturing and early stage tech. It is unlikely to invest outside Nigeria unless there is something “very special and unique” about an opportunity abroad, said Verheijen.

The firm has so far made six times on its original investments across the nine companies, according to Verheijen.