Kenyan dairy processor finds Dutch suitors

DOB Equity, a Dutch private equity firm, has bought an undisclosed stake in Nyahururu-based dairy-processing firm, Countryside Dairy. 

The deal is expected to enable the dairy processor to scale up its production capacity and expand its reach across the lower income market.

By investing in Countryside Dairy Ltd, the Private Equity fund with offices in Kenya, Tanzania and the Netherlands will be seeking a slice of the Sh100 billion Kenya Dairy sub-sector.

Established in 2014, Countryside Dairy’s processing plant has an installed processing capacity of 100,000 litres daily.

Its strategic focus and business model is based on serving the under-served low-income segment of the population, which has an estimated market demand of over 100kg per capita.

Countryside Dairy Managing Director George Mwangi said the entry of DOB Equity will help to further boost the firm’s efforts to enhance value for dairy farmers.

“DOB Equity’s investment has come at a crucial growth stage for Countryside Dairy and will allow us to create innovative marketing concepts for dairy products aimed at the low income segment of the population, stressing that low-cost, high-quality milk plays an essential role as a key part of a healthy diet,” said Mr Mwangi in a statement.

“We have found in DOB Equity a committed partner who shares our vision to foster social development by delivering high quality, pasteurized, and affordable dairy products to the lower income market.”

Countryside Dairy currently distributes its flagship Countryside Dairy Fresh milk product to markets in Nairobi, Eldoret and Nakuru.

This latest investment will expand DOB Equity’s current equity portfolio in the regional diary sector, where it already holds a stake in Tanga Fresh, the Tanzania-based dairy processor.

“Our latest deal in the East African dairy sector will allow Countryside Dairy to beef up its supply chain and offer better purchase prices to farmers while guaranteeing product traceability,” said DOB Equity chief executive Brigit van Dijk-van de Reijt.

Ralph Jansen, an investment manager at DOB added that the new partnership will further give Countryside Dairy access to world-renowned dairy processing technical capabilities in the Netherlands.

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