AIIM commits $150m to create pan-African cold chain logistics platform
African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM) has set up a pan-African cold chain logistics platform with the acquisition of a cold storage operator from Oceana Group for $46m (€40m).
AIIM has led a group of investors including Bauta Logistics and the Mokobela Shakati consortium to buy Oceana’s CCS Logistics as the first acquisition for the newly launched Commercial Cold Holdings (CCH) platform.
AIIM will hold a 59.2% stake in CCH via its flagship open-ended SADC region infrastructure fund IDEAS and its fourth generation pan-African infrastructure fund, AIIF4. The two vehicles intend to invest up to $150m in CCH to help fund the CCS deal as well as other transactions.
CCS, Southern Africa’s leading cold store operator, has been in existence for over 50 years. The company currently operates about 100,000 pallets of storage across six facilities in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Walvis Bay, Namibia.
Damilola Agbaje, AIIM’s investment director, said the cold chain logistical infrastructure sector is underdeveloped, and in places non-existent, across Sub-Saharan Africa and the investment diversifies AIIM’s current portfolio into a high-growth and high-impact area.
“South Africa, which possesses the continent’s most advanced TCL [temperature-controlled logistics] infrastructure at 13m3 of cold storage per 1,000 residents, lags comparable economies such as Egypt and Brazil, which have 105m3 and 83m3, respectively our research has indicated.
“TCL infrastructure is critical for both improving Sub-Saharan Africa’s food security; allowing domestic producers to meet the standards required to participate in global trade; and creating higher value jobs through more formal food retail and wholesale models,” said Agbaje.
According to Agbaje, CCH would focus on acquiring and developing facilities with strategic physical locations and/or integration with market-leading food producers, wholesalers, and retailers.
“Anchoring CCH’s strategy with such an established player is crucial for the platform’s regional expansion. New market entries will leverage CCS’s technical expertise and operational track record to secure strategic customer relationships,” he said.
Olusola Lawson, managing director and co-head of AIIM, said: “This marks the third investment signed by AIIM’s fourth generation pan-African infrastructure fund, AIIF4, a thematic investor with a strategic focus on the mobility and logistics, energy transition and digital infrastructure sectors. AIIF4 is delivering on its mandate to construct a diversified portfolio of highly impactful, attractive, growth-oriented platforms across our themes.
”Food security in the current global and African context is a topic of increasing importance, and we believe the CCH platform will play a role in addressing these critical matters. We look forward to further announcements as AIIF4 continues to expand its portfolio.”
Michael Osekereh, the managing director of Bauta Logistics, said: “Bauta is pleased to be partnering with AIIM and Mokobela Shakati in establishing this Pan African cold storage platform.
”As we build out a network of temperature-controlled warehouses in key demand hubs and food production regions on the Continent, we are excited about the role that CCH will play in facilitating intracontinental trade.”
Moss Ngoasheng, founding director of the Mokobela Shataki consortium, said: “The acquisition of CCS is a natural extension of our developing partnership with AIIM to create an infrastructure-based platform underpinned by integrated logistics, ports services and cold storage.
”The acquisition enhances the solid base we have already established and provides us with the cornerstone required to realise our vision to play a meaningful role in key sectors of our economy.”