Dutch PE Firm DOB Equity To Buy Kenya Agro Firm Cropnuts

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Dutch PE firm DOB Equity has added local agro firm Cropnuts to its Kenyan portfolio after the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) granted it and investment firm AHL Venture Partners the go-ahead to jointly acquire the business.

Cropnuts’ core business is carrying out lab tests for soil, water and crops for small, medium and large scale farmers. DOB Equity and AHL Venture Partners are looking to cash in on the growing demand for quality lab testing and agronomy.

The investment into Cropnuts, DOB Equity said, will help the firm to regionally expand its agro-testing services for larger lab facilities and increase sales of its mobile lab units.

Cropnuts’ runs an ISO-certified lab facility in Limuru, and clients are supported by its strong nationwide network of agronomists.

“…the Competition Authority of Kenya excludes the proposed acquisition of joint control of Cropnuts Limited by Stitching DOB Equity and AHL Growth Fund LP from the provisions of Part IV of the Act…,” said CAK Director-General Wang’ombe Kariuki.

The move by DOB Equity, whose value was not revealed, is part of an aggressive round of acquisitions after it signalled its intent to ramp up its investments in the country.

The Dutch firm closed two agro deals late last year after acquiring significant stakes in local coconut processing company Kentaste and Ten Senses Africa which buys nuts from local farmers.

DOB’s Kenya portfolio includes online retailer Copia, pay-as-you-go solar provider M-Kopa, solar lighting and appliances firm Barefoot Power, low-cost chain of schools Bridge International Academies and Lake Victoria ferry operator Globology Ltd.

“We have an ambitious growth trajectory…We need local partners like DOB Equity and AHL Venture Partners that understand what it takes to expand the business and enter new markets,” said Cropnuts founder and managing director Jeremy Cordingley. Source: Business Daily Africa

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