NewsEast & Horn AfricaAmerican fund acquires Ethiopian diary firm


Posted on Tuesday, 26 January 2016 12:01

American fund acquires Ethiopian diary firm

By Tinishu Solomon

Ethiopia has the largest number of milking cows in Africa. Photo©ReutersAn American investment company, Schulze Global Investments Limited, has completed the acquisition of a 45 percent stake in Ethiopian dairy products producer, MB Plc.

The deal would enable the Addis Ababa-based dairy firm to grow the market for its Family Milk brand. MB Plc trades as Family Milk and was established in 2000.

Family Milk is one of the leading milk brands in Ethiopia and is among the fastest growing dairy processors in the country. It produces milk as well as milk products, which are distributed to a diversified customer base across the Addis Ababa area including retail outlets, hotels, restaurants, and cafes.

Family Milk's vision is to become the pioneer in new product development in Ethiopia

Family Milk also possesses long-term supply contracts with Ethiopian Airlines as well as various hospitals and government agencies.

"Family Milk's vision is to become the pioneer in new product development in Ethiopia, and to be recognised for delivering the industry's highest standards in quality innovation," said Mechal Argaw, founder of Family Milk.

Argaw said his company settled for Schulze Global because of the fund's local presence, its capability to add value and strong partnership values.

Ethiopia has the largest number of milking cows in Africa, which makes the development of a vibrant dairy industry possible.

Family Milk's product mix includes pasteurised milk, butter, yogurt, and various cheese types such as cottage, mozzarella, provolone, ricotta, and feta.

Ethiopians consume 19 liters of milk per capita each year, which represents a mere 10 percent of milk consumed in Sudan or 20 percent in Kenya.

Schulze Global Ethiopia managing director Greg Metro said the new partnership would transform Ethiopia's diary sector.

"We believe that through implementing international best practices in dairy processing and product development, supplementing management and technical expertise and investing substantial growth capital the company is well positioned to help transform the dairy sector in Ethiopia," Metro said.

"We are excited by the acquisition of Family Milk and we will build the leading dairy company in the country."

The value of the deal, which aims to triple the number of Family Milk's 133 workers, has not been disclosed.

Schulze Global manages several hundred million dollars of investments across various markets in Asia, Latin America, and Africa in partnership with institutional investors.

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