March 27, 2017 / 10:24 AM / 4 months ago

Geldof's 8 Miles invests in African fruit firm

2 Min Read

JOHANNESBURG, March 27 (Reuters) - Irish rock star Bob Geldof's 8 Miles private equity fund said on Monday it had acquired a minority stake in UK-incorporated Blue Skies, a fresh-cut tropical fruit producer with operations in several African countries.

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Blue Skies, founded in 1997 and with more than 4,000 employees to its name, posted revenues of 89.6 million pounds ($113 million) for the year ending December 2016.

It has plans to expand its core fresh-cut fruit business, increase production capacity in South Africa, launch a fresh juice operation in Egypt and develop new product lines for some of its markets in Africa.

Africa-focused 8 Miles, whose name comes from the shortest distance between Europe and Africa across the Straits of Gibraltar, typically invests $15-$45 million at a time.

Its portfolio includes Ethiopian wine producer Awash Wines, Ethiopian feedlot operator Verde Beef Processing, Uganda's Biyinzika Poultry and Nigerian biscuit-maker Beloxxi Industries. ($1 = 0.7961 pounds) (Reporting by Olwethu Boso; Editing by Ed Cropley)

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