Helios buys Louis Dreyfus Co.’s African fertilizer business in $200 million deal

Africa-focused private capital investment firm, Helios Investment Partners has acquired Fertilizer and Inputs Holding from Louis Dreyfus Company, one of the world’s largest commodity traders. According to The Financial Times, people familiar with the deal value the transaction at being around $200 million, split equally between debt and equity.

Louis Dreyfus Company originally acquired Fertilizer and Inputs Holding in 2011. Established in 1947, the company now distributes fertilizers, crop protection products, seeds and industrial chemicals under its well-recognized brand, La Cigogne, in several markets on the continent including Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Mali and Senegal. Today, the company generates approximately $300 million in revenue annually. Helios plans to provide the firm with expansion capital to help accelerate the growth of the business and build “other country multi-distribution platforms” in the agricultural sector on the continent.

“We are excited to invest in a business that has considerable scale and a long history in its key markets,” said Alykhan Nathoo, a Partner at Helios. “Louis Dreyfus Company has been successful at expanding its fertilizers and inputs distribution network in Africa, which stands to benefit from the growing size and sophistication of the continent’s agriculture and industry.”

Standard Chartered and Société Générale acted as financial advisors and financing arrangers to Helios, while Vinson & Elkins acted as Helios’ primary legal advisor. Credit Suisse acted as sole financial advisor to Louis Dreyfus Company for the transaction, with Norton Rose Fulbright acting as the seller’s primary legal advisor.

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