Blue Skies attracts investment from fund chaired by Sir Bob Geldof

Blue Skies attracts investment from fund chaired by Sir Bob Geldof

The UK-based, Africa-focused private-equity firm chaired by Sir Bob Geldof, 8 Miles, has taken a "significant minority stake" in Blue Skies, a fresh-cut tropical fruit business with operations in several African countries.

8 Miles said yesterday (27 March) its stake in UK-incorporated Blue Skies would see it team up with the founder investors and management team to support "continued growth and help them develop their brand across Africa". Financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed.

Blue Skies produces shelf-ready fresh-cut fruit and freshly squeezed juice products, which it supplies on a daily basis to European retailers.

The company has operations in Ghana, South Africa, Egypt, Brazil and the UK, employing more than 4,000 people. Blue Skies booked revenues of GBP89.6m (US$112.5m) for the year ending December 2016.

Blue Skies said it plans to "expand its core fresh cut fruit business", increase production capacity in South Africa, launch a fresh juice operation in Egypt and develop new product lines for some of its markets in Africa.

Chairman and Blue Skies founder Anthony Pile said 8 Miles was "fully aligned with the core values of Blue Skies and their deep understanding of African markets and extensive networks will help us in this exciting phase of growth".

Doug Agble, partner at 8 Miles said: "This is an exciting opportunity to partner with a highly successful founder and a top-quality management team who have built a business based on solid and unique foundations."

The investment in Blue Skies comes less than a year after 8 Miles invested in Nigerian biscuit firm Beloxxi.