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Fairfax Financial launches company to invest in Africa

Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd.'s Fairfax Africa Holdings Corp. filed a preliminary prospectus with the securities regulatory authorities of all Canadian provinces and territories for an initial public offering of subordinate voting shares.

Fairfax Africa was created to invest in public and private equity securities and debt instruments of African businesses with a view to acquiring control or significant influence positions.

Fairfax Africa will issue the lesser of 30 million multiple voting shares and 30% of its post-offering equity capital to Fairfax Financial in exchange for cash consideration and Fairfax Financial's contribution of its indirect interest in South Africa-based agricultural services and food processing company AFGRI Proprietary Ltd.

Cornerstone investors have committed to subscribe for about US$116 million of subordinate voting shares on a private placement basis, bringing the total equity commitment to about US$416 million.

The offering is led by RBC Capital Markets.