MENA Food Safety Associates (MEFOSA) is preparing to launch an investment fund with a targeted capital of $20 million, said Atef Idriss CEO of MEFOSA.
The fund will invest in agribusiness such as dairy production and canned food as well as in auxiliary sectors such as cold storage warehouses, farms, and food-packing houses. It will also invest in bio-industry and the biopharmaceutical sector.
There are many companies in these sectors that have been facing difficulties in recent years and some of them have stopped operations, Idriss said.
The fund will acquire equity in these companies and will be represented at their board of directors. It will help them revamp their business, and then it will exit after three years. The solutions could include mergers between troubled companies, he said.
Idriss said that ten factories are currently being offered for sale and that 90 food packing houses in the Bekaa have stopped operations. He said existing export support programs most often do not provide support to eligible exporters.
The fund is targeting $5 million in its first phase. So far $1 million has been pledged.
MEFOSA provides a broad range of consultancy and technological services in agribusiness fields that include food safety, food hygiene, food traceability, agro-industrial management, and technical assistance.