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Herbert Smith Freehills has advised social impact investor AgDevCo Limited, in relation to its debt and equity investment in the AIM listed West African agricultural company Dekeloil Public Limited, an established palm oil processing business in Côte d'Ivoire.

AgDevCo works to support and build successful African agribusiness through long-term investments that aim to deliver a positive impact on a significant scale. The transaction was announced on 22 July and completed on 8 August 2019.

The transaction represents AgDevCo's first equity investment in a listed company. It is also the inaugural UK equity capital markets transaction for HSF Impact, the firm's social finance and sustainable investment practice.

Launched in September last year, HSF Impact advises founders, investors, asset managers and social finance intermediaries on legal and commercial issues when establishing, scaling and investing in social enterprises.

The London team advising AgDeCo was led by Corporate partner Charles Howarth, with Corporate and Pro Bono senior associate Rebecca Perlman and Corporate associate Elizabeth Reside. The Paris team was led by Africa practice co-Chair Stéphane Brabant, with Project and Corporate associate Emma France, Finance partner Louis de Longeaux and Finance associate Soraya Salem, in coordination with Ivorian counsels, Théodore Hoegah and Evelyne M'Bassidje.

Charles commented "We were delighted to work with the AgDevCo team on their investment in Dekeloil Public, and to partner with them in developing an HSF Impact product for listed company investments. This is the first equity capital markets traction for HSF Impact (UK), and we are excited to continue to expand this area of our practice in the future."

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