SOUTH AFRICA – Norsad Finance, an impact investor providing structured financing solutions to mid-market growth companies in Southern Africa, has provided a R150 million (US$8.76m) medium-term facility to Grobank, a South African specialised commercial agricultural bank. The deal was completed in March 2020.

This facility is Norsad’s second investment in South Africa and further supports its diversification across the Southern Africa region.

“We are delighted to partner Grobank in their strategy to support the full value-chain of the food and agriculture sector. Agribusiness is one of the mainstays of the South African economy and this facility further strengthens food security and generates foreign income through exports,” Zubair Suliman, Investment Director at Norsad Finance, said.

Grobank is a banking institution focusing on the full value-chain of the food and agriculture sector from farm to table.

Grobank is wholly owned by GroCapital Holdings, a partnership between the agricultural group, AFGRI Group Holdings; the Toronto listed financial services holding company, Fairfax Africa Fund and the Government Employees’ Pension Fund.

Grobank’s partnership with its shareholders has seen the bank evolve its offering to take advantage of their shared knowledge of business banking, the niche alliance banking offering and the food and agriculture industry.

Norsad’s investment is earmarked for expansion of the agricultural banking business, supporting Grobank’s strategy in the sector. As an impact investor, food security and financial inclusion are at the core of Norsad’s objectives.

This is also aligned with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) on sustainable food security and the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on Zero Hunger.

Integrated agriculture and financial institutions are amongst Norsad’s preferred sectors and Norsad Finance has a portfolio of investments within these sectors in other SADC countries including Angola, Botswana, eSwatini, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. 

“Grobank is proud of its association with Norsad and honoured to partner with an institution that is equally passionate as we are about the food and agricultural space. We look forward to build and strengthen this partnership to ultimately benefit the sector and contribute to food security across the continent,” Bennie van Rooy, CEO of Grobank said.

Meraki Capital acted as financial advisor and funding arranger to Grobank on the facility.

“In support of its food and business offering, this transaction strengthens Grobank’s ability to invest in the world’s largest and arguably its most important market, agriculture, especially with the renewed focus on food security, socio-economic progress and sustainability.” Marisa Meyer, Managing Director at Meraki Capital said.

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