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SilverStreet raising third African agribusiness fund – exclusive

The firm is thought to be targeting $300m for Silverlands Fund II, following the first Silverlands fund which focused on assets that would act as "hubs" in central Africa.

African agriculture fund management firm SilverStreet Capital is raising a third African agribusiness fund targeting $300 million, according to several sources close to the matter.

SilverStreet closed its first $300-million targeted Silverlands fund on $198 million in 2011. Investors included CDC, which committed $20 million, and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, which invested $150 million, according to sister publication Private Equity International.

Its Africa Central Fund closed the same year, according to PEI Research & Analytics. It is not clear how much the firm raised for that fund although its target was $450 million, PEI data said.

The firm’s strategy is to invest across the value-chain, according to its website.

The first Silverlands fund invests in large-scale commercial farming businesses and employs a “hub-based” business, focusing on central and southern Africa. That fund takes a central commercial farm to act as an out-grower programme, financing inputs like seeds and fertilisers as well as training for surrounding farmers.

Although some businesses took longer to build than anticipated, including a vertically-integrated poultry operation, the firm is thought to have founded profitable businesses generating returns and creating employment opportunities in rural Africa, according to sources. Target geographies included Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia and the fund will last for 10 years, with the possibility of two one-year extensions.

In 2015, the fund invested $30 million in a beef and crop ranch in Zambia, with $27 million of that insured against political risk by OPIC and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency.

SilverStreet was not available for comment on the new fund.