Michelmores advises on AgDevCo's Malawian investment

Michelmores has advised AgDevCo on its $1.5m debt and equity investment into Afri-Oils Limited, a Malawian peanut (groundnut) processor. The Michelmores team was led by Associate Solicitor Harry Trick, with Partner support from Joe Whitfield. Malawian legal advice was provided by Duncan Singano of Savjani & Co.

AgDevCo's investment will primarily be used to help fund the building of Afri-Oils' state-of-the-art processing facility for locally grown peanuts. By targeting regional and export markets, the company aims to provide higher incomes for 18,000 Malawian smallholder farmers. Through farmer training programmes, and improved handling and sorting methods, Afri-Oils aims to demonstrate that Malawi can meet international standards on the control of aflatoxin, a naturally occurring mould which is harmful to health.

Other shareholders of Afri-Oils include NASFAM, a large Malawian farmers association, and Exagris which owns a Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Foods paste manufacturer in Malawi. The company also benefits from a Dutch Government grant.

AgDevCo, a long-standing client of Michelmores, is a social impact investor and project developer that operates exclusively in the agriculture sector in Africa. Funded primarily by the UK Government's Department for International Trade and Development, AgDevCo has now invested over USD 76 million in 53 agribusinesses in sub-Saharan Africa, connecting tens of thousands of farmers to market and generating over 3,200 jobs.

Jim Henderson, AgDevCo's Malawi's Associate Director, said,

"We are backing Afri-Oils to tackle the aflatoxin challenge and put Malawi back on the map as a major international peanut producer".

Harry Trick of Michelmores commented,

"Through their investments and on-the-ground technical support, AgDevCo makes a major positive social impact in the communities in which they invest, and we are delighted to have been able to play a part in this latest example".

For more information on Michelmores' Legal 500 ranked Emerging Markets practice, please contact Joe Whitfield, Head of the Emerging Markets team, at joe.whitfield@michelmores.com, or Harry Trick, an Associate Solicitor in the team, at harry.trick@michelmores.com.