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VSA Morning Agri Comment, 21/12/18

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DKL Takes 43.8% Stake in Cashew Project

West African agricultural company DekelOil Public (LON:DKL) has taken a 43.8% equity stake in the 10,000tpa (expandable to 30,000tpa) Tiebissou cashew processing project in Cote d'Ivoire.

  • Consideration to be satisfied via the issuance of DKL shares at 4.5p per share, a 46% premium to its last closing price
  • Implied current valuation of €6m
  • Retains an option to acquire a further 20.5% interest on same terms as original option agreement signed on 26 June 2018

VSA Comment

The Tiebissou project is scheduled to become operational in early 2020 in time for the Côte d’Ivoire cashew season that typically starts in February and ends in June. Assuming DKL exercises its option to take majority control, this will be its second majority-owned operational project in Côte d’Ivoire.

With this equity investment, DKL is now sharing some of the development risk. However, it believes that this is minimal given senior management have been appointed, a 13-year tax exemption has been granted, key construction contracts are now in place and project debt financing has been secured (meaning no material cash contribution will be required by DKL for the project).

The original option agreement valued the project at a minimum of €18m once operational with the option only exercisable from H1 2021. With cashew processing facilities typically valued at around US$1m per 1,000tpa capacity, we believe this valuation seems fair (for a 10,000tpa-30,000tpa facility).

DKL reports that PKF Littlejohn LLP believes that the valuation of this specific transaction (€6m) "appears reasonable and on an arm's length basis" and this was supported by independent NED opinion and a recent independent investment into the project by an unrelated investor.

As we outlined in our initiation report on DKL, this cashew project will provide DKL with sensible diversification given its expertise in the processing of agricommodities, smallholder relations and operating in-country.

We estimate the project could deliver an additional c€3m in attributable profit to DKL by 2022 (depending on its final equity stake when operational).

We maintain our BUY recommendation and target price of 12p.


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