A multinational fresh fruit supplier with its global headquarters in Kent is set for further international growth with $300 million funding from a trio of banks, led by HSBC UK.
Westfalia Fruit Group will utilise a multi-million-dollar revolving credit facility (RCF) from HSBC UK, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and Standard Bank to fund potential investments and working capital. As the world’s leading avocado supplier, the company plans to expand its sustainable avocado production at its existing packaging, ripening and storage facilities while exploring new markets.
With the avocado market currently estimated at $7 billion by value of trade, Westfalia will further develop its orchards and nurseries in Colombia, India, Chile, Mozambique, Peru and South Africa to scale up avocado production.
HSBC UK acted as Mandated Lead Arranger and Documentation Coordinator on the refinance, with each lender increasing their participation to $100m in Westfalia’s new $300m RCF.
As part of its strategy to become carbon neutral by 2030, Westfalia will continue to introduce climate-smart growing techniques that conserve energy and water and reduce pesticide use. Westfalia will also use drought and disease-resilient varieties to address the impact of climate change.
Alk Brand, Group Chief Executive Officer at Westfalia Fruit Group, said: “This investment will enable Westfalia to continue to grow its business, strengthen value chains to sustainably produce and source quality avocados, and improve access to export markets to meet the growing demand for the fruit.
“The partnership with HSBC UK, IFC and Standard Bank will contribute to our efforts to enhance sustainable farming practices, create jobs in the communities where we operate, and support economic growth. I am ready for a transformational year in 2023, and I know I can count on the support of HSBC UK in the process.”
Danny Goldblum, Head of Large Corporate Coverage at HSBC UK, added: “We’re pleased to have delivered a bespoke solution to meet Westfalia’s specific requirements demonstrating our strong capabilities to lead and coordinate across different teams. The global fresh fruit market is expected to grow by 5.53% annually, and this funding will help to meet rising demand and grow the global agriculture sector, providing new jobs across Africa, South America and India. We also look forward to seeing the business continue its sustainability efforts and meet its net zero targets in 2030.”
Adamou Labara, Country Manager for South Africa at IFC, said: “Developing sustainable avocado markets can help boost agriculture productivity to reduce poverty, especially in rural areas where people mainly work in farming. IFC’s investment in Westfalia will help increase avocado production to meet growing demand, strengthen global value chains and boost economic growth in developing countries.”
Clive Potter, Head of Client Coverage South Africa at Standard Bank, said: “Standard Bank is Westfalia’s leading banking partner for its South African operations and we are pleased to grow our support for Westfalia’s international business and become a key funding partner both locally and globally. This deal will adequately support Westfalia’s strategic ambitions by allowing the business to retain its leading global avocado producer status and grow in markets where there is opportunity for growth.”
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