RWANDA – Global food ingredients, taste and nutrition solution provider, Kerry Group, has completed the full acquisition of pan-African group Afribon.
This follows the transfer of shares by Impact fund I&P Afrique Entrepreneurs 2 (IPAE2), managed by Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P), to Kerry Group, alongside exit of the company’s founders Julien Giuge and Anne Merienne.
Launched in 2012, Afribon specializes in the development, production and marketing of food flavours, comprises five production sites, in Rwanda, Cameroon, Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania.
The food ingredients company provides flavour solutions in beverages, food service, confectionery, baked goods and dairy category, and is consequently a neat fit for Kerry Group as it will expand its footprint in the region.
IPAE 2 invested in Afribon in 2018, helping it strengthen and diversify its activities. During this period, it registered significant impact and ESG outcomes.
To highlight a few, imports of food flavours on the continental market have been substituted by Afribon’s local products which are diverse and in sync with local flavours.
The partnership also ensured development of new skills on the continent with all employees formalized, fashioned with health insurance and put in place innovative solutions to manage the human resource in the company.
Being an active investor, the funds involvement in the company also ensured that Afribon was certified to ISO 22000 on food safety in Uganda and Kenya.
Further to that, the parties initiated a waste and water treatment process at the production site in Kenya.
“With this exit to Kerry Group, our clients will be given a larger pool of experts to meet the needs and requirements of consumers in the East African market,” explains Anne Merienne, co-founder of Afribon.
For the Kerry Group, this transaction reinforces its leading position in the taste and nutrition solutions space for the food, beverage and pharmaceutical markets and represents a significant expansion of its activities in Africa.
The Irish company already has a presence in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria.
The combination of Kerry and Afribon brings technology leadership and sustainable growth while assisting clients with proprietary consumer insights in a bid to bring the next generation of food products to life through taste, health & wellness and sugar reduction.
To this end, the African market will leverage on the extensive expertise of Kerry’s personnel, building on the roots that Afribon has already established.
The move will accentuate the existing deep understanding and local insights of the consumer preference, while Kerry’s experience of Retail and Food service channels will enhance Afribon’s ability to partner customers with greater success.