8 Miles Invests in Ethiopian Agribusiness Verde Beef

In Ethiopia's Ghibe valley, ILRI-led Tsetse Fly control methods have allowed cattle to flourish in an area previously almost uninhabitable for them. This has encouragd more farming in the area, relieving to a degree population and soil erosion pressures in higher, Tsetse free, elevations. Such is the impact this has had on the livelihood of farmer Worku Mengiste that he is now able to employ two casual labourers to do work he previously did himself. Here he watches on as they plough his field.

Africa-focused private equity firm 8 Miles has picked up “a significant minority stake” in Ethiopian agribusiness Verde Beef Processing.

Verde Beef is a producer of premium beef primarily for the domestic market but has recently started exporting its goods.

The company, which is currently operating a 1,300 ha feedlot and crop-farming facility in Adami Tulusouth of the capital city of Addis Ababa, plans a substantial expansion in the future with 8 Miles’ backing.

Verde Beef aims at growing its current base of 6,000 animals tenfold, taking advantage of the increasing demand in the markets in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Next year, the company will launch construction of its own abattoir and meat processing facility.

Commenting on the deal, Doug Agble, Partner at 8 Miles LLP, said, “This is an exciting opportunity to work with the highly experienced team at Verde Beef and introduce premium Ethiopian beef into the growing global beef market.”

Clifford Chance and KPMG acted as advisors for 8 Miles on the transaction.

8 Miles has another investment in Ethiopia, Awash Winery. Another recent investment by the pan-African investor was the acquisition of a 49 per cent stake in Uganda’s Orient Bank last February.

Other investments include Egypt-based resin and polymer producer Eagle Chemicals, Uganda’s Biyinzika Poultry International and Eleni, a business focused on construction and operation of commodity exchanges in Africa.