MAURITIUS – Dale Capital, a private equity investment holding company and Mauritius-listed private equity investment holding company, has completed an inward listing on the ZAR X, seeking to raise US$2m (R15m) to invest in high-technology agricultural operations in the island nation.

This listing will enable South Africans to invest in a growing group with an attractive return in a tax-effective jurisdiction.

This is the first inward listing on the ZAR X, which was launched in 2017 to rival the JSE. An inward listing allows investors exposure to foreign companies through domestic channels.

Dale Capital is targeting the Mauritian food market, saying about 70% of food is imported to the island nation, but that it ultimately wants to also export food, citing the favourable climate.

It has a strategy of becoming a niche market leader in the food, beverage, and food security sector in Mauritius.

Its investment into the Mauritius seafood and ocean economy has already placed Dale amongst the leaders in the sector. The entities it has invested in include the well-known Bella Amigo Group and St. Felix Seafood.

Dale Capital chair Mark Foulds said after the bottom dropped out of the sugar cane market a number of independent producers just walked away, but access to land remains a key issue in Mauritius.

The company is in the process of branding its agriculture and food business under the St Felix brand.

Additionally, it has entered into a strategic partnership with the St Felix Sugar Estate, which owns approximately 3,200ha of land in the south of the island, providing it with scope for expansion.

Another example of its niche market leadership is the growth in the Dale Agriculture business which has targeted the local breeding of sheep and goats.

Dale Capital already has the largest herd of sheep and goats on the island, at 2,000, and hopes to expand this to up to 9,000 over the next five years.

The company is also targeting fishing and aquaculture, saying that the ZAR X listing would not only broaden its investor base, but also allow it to look at private equity projects in SA.

The food businesses of Dale are now entering an exciting period of growth over the next two years but need capital to fund this growth.

Dale wishes to raise US$2 million (approximately R30 million) post the listing.

Graeme Wellsted, co-founder of ZAR X said that this is an important listing for the exchange.

“This listing gives South Africans a good opportunity for diversification and lets them tap into new markets very easily.”