Lona Group (Pty) Ltd
Region and country of operations: Africa, South Africa
Jurisdiction of registration: South Africa
Business sector: Agriculture
Funding channeled through another company: Lynx Food Group, Mauritius and Lona Holdco (Pty) Ltd, South Africa
Date of agreement (month/year): 4/2022
Finnfund’s financing: USD 3,250,000
Share of Finnfund’s financing: 11.5%
Size of project/financing: USD 28,000,000
Environmental and social category: B+
Lona Group is a vertically integrated fruit food business in South Africa. Established in 1996 and having its headquarters in Cape Town, Lona Group markets and exports citrus fruit from its own farms and on behalf of other producers. The company has expanded into agro-processing, logistics, and services during the past decade. Finnfund co-invests in Lona Holdco, which owns the majority of Lona Group, together with Phatisa Food Fund 2, BII, and Norfund.
The expansion investments with the equity capital relate mainly to the expansion of food and fruit product processing capacity, cold storage-related investments, orchard net investments, small orchard expansion on selected farms, and finally to corporate acquisitions, which relate to buying out minority shareholders of selected group entities.
Main development impact
360 direct new jobs are estimated to be created pursuant to the various expansion investments. Lona Group operates with local farmers, workers’ trusts, and farm communities in their supply chain and it is estimated that the total beneficiaries are about 3,000 local people. Further jobs will be created in the supply chain for example with the support of the South African Jobs Fund, which provides grant funding for a citrus farm owned by Kangela Empowerment Trust (KET) and mango growers in Limpopo and Mpumalanga.
Lona Group does qualify for 2X Challenge as about 40% of the workforce are women. The group management has put substantial emphasis on diversity development (not only related to women) in the group organization in the past.
Last modified: September 2022