Small Enterprise Assistance Funds (SEAF) announced its investment in a growth-oriented, fruit processing and export firm in Peru. Sunshine Export S.A.C. (“Sunshine”) received debt and equity financing from the SEAF SME Debt Facility (SSDF) and the SEAF Global SME Facility (SGSF) for a total amount of USD 4.5 million. This financing follows an earlier investment into Sunshine from SEAF managed funds in Peru, bringing the total invested amount of debt and equity to USD 6.7 million. This is the first investment for both SSDF, a USD 30 million global facility funded by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), and SGSF, a USD 5 million facility funded by the Calvert Large Cap Growth Fund.
Sunshine is a mango, avocado, and pineapple processor and exporter. The company purchases fruit from more than 450 local, small-scale farmers, and employs over 3,000 workers during the harvest season. SEAF’s first investment in Sunshine in 2005 allowed the company to expand the existing fresh mango packing plant and to open a freezing plant that extended the production and processing seasons and expanded the year-round workforce. In addition, SEAF’s investment increased profits for both the company and the farmers by permitting Sunshine to process and export 100 percent of the harvested produce, including bruised or blemished fruit that was previously discarded.
This latest investment completes the company’s acquisition of freezing, calibration, and dehydration equipment. In addition, the investment provided Sunshine with essential working capital for the 2010 harvest and export season, strengthening the company’s capital structure and expanding its capacity.
“This investment from SEAF will allow us to better position the company for maximizing our output and extending our production season,” Joaquin Balarezo Valdez, the CEO of Sunshine said. “We look forward to our continued partnership with SEAF to create future growth.”
“We are excited to work with Sunshine to maximize its production potential,” SEAF co-founder and executive chairman Bert van der Vaart said. “Sunshine is a leader in fruit processing and exporting in Peru and, in addition to its impressive financial performance, Sunshine supports the sustainable growth of fruit farmers across the country.”
SEAF is a not-for-profit emerging market fund management group specializing in providing growth capital and business support to SMEs in developing countries that are underserved by traditional sources of capital. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., SEAF manages investment funds in emerging markets through a network of offices around the world. SEAF supports the sustainable growth of SMEs through structured debt and equity growth capital and extensive post-investment business development assistance.
SEAF’s two decades of experience investing in more than 330 small businesses has allowed it to identify and invest in promising companies that deliver both positive financial results, as well as significant economic and social benefits to their employees and their communities. SEAF’s analysis of its investments has shown that every $1 invested in SMEs generates on average an additional $12 in the local economy, benefitting employees, suppliers, customers, competitors, the local community and local government. With stable and secure jobs and growing incomes, families can begin to plan for their futures, investing in improved housing, preventive health care, and education for their children that can end the cycle of poverty.