Admaius Capital Partners, a pan African private equity house, has, via a subsidiary of the Virunga Africa Fund 1, made a significant investment in Power Brands, the parent company of Céréalis S.A., Tunisia’s leading producer of salted snacks and a significant producer of baked goods.
Admaius will partner with the current owners of Power Brands, the Gahbiche family and Ekuity Capital, a leading Tunisian private equity investor, to build a leading branded FMCG platform through a combination of organic growth and selective acquisitions to expand and build on Céréalis’s portfolio of strong local brands.
The investment is consistent with Admaius’s strategy of investing in African FMCG companies positioned to benefit from growing incomes and increasing demand for products tailored to meet local needs.
Céréalis was founded in 2004 by current CEO Karim Gahbiche, a Tunisian national and Harvard graduate who started his career at Goldman Sach’s asset management business and comes from a family of entrepreneurs. Céréalis has grown rapidly to become Tunisia’s largest salty snacks producer with a range of leading branded products.
Admaius will also use its position to drive improvements in areas where Céréalis has the potential to have significant positive impacts on society such as reducing packaging waste, increasing recycling, carbon footprint reduction and improving nutrition. Admaius is a signatory of the UN Principles for Responsible Investment and is committed to aligning its investments with the UN Social Development Goals.
Karim Gahbiche, CEO of Power Brands and Céréalis, said: “I’m excited to be working with Admaius and Ekuity Capital as we enter a new chapter in the development of the business which I founded back in 2004. The experience and network that the Admaius team brings to the table will be invaluable in helping us to grow and develop a major North African FMCG platform.”
Amine Allam, MD of Admaius, said: “We are delighted to announce our second investment in another outstanding African business led by a strong entrepreneur. Céréalis is representative of the home-grown national champions that we typically look to partner with in North Africa and that are expected to outperform and create value for all stakeholders across the cycle. We look forward to working with Power Brands in the coming years to support the development of a new FMCG platform.”
Marlon Chigwende, Managing Partner of Admaius, said: “This investment is an excellent example of Admaius’s differentiated approach to investing in Africa that combines on the ground presence with global private equity expertise. With our strong networks across the continent and our deep expertise in our core sectors, I am convinced that this approach will result in superior outcomes for our investors and our investee companies.”
Mohammad Al-Nemah, CEO of Ekuity Capital, said: “This transaction is consistent with Ekuity Capital’s objective of enabling the development of a strong Tunisian business sector. Since investing in Céréalis 8 years ago, we have worked closely with Karim Gahbiche and his team and are enthused by the opportunity to support the continued growth and evolution of the business.”
Ingredients experts, Eurostar Commodities are warning that the severe drought in southern Spain and Portugal is having a drastic effect on the price of long grain rice and resulting in forecasted tighter supplies and a price increase of almost one third (29%).
- Spain – The volume of the next Spanish long grain rice crop will drop significantly by -70% as a consequence of the severe drought
- Portugal – In Portugal on the ground conditions are different but the production decrease is expected to be between -10-20% down on usual production of long grain rice
- The availability of water in some of these areas was not sufficient enough to allow the growing of rice at all
- Prices in the Far East continue to rise with the growing demand for large quantities of long grain rice from Europe. With this severe lack of availability, prices will increase by 29%
Ingredients expert, Jason Bull, director, Eurostar Commodities, said: “Food price inflation is still going strong and increasing due to drought and raw material availability issues.
“If we then add in currency exchange rates, transportation and fuel costs, and finance interest then the market is in a situation where price will rise sharply from early December of this year.
“Retailers, restaurants and the food service industry will either have to absorb these additional costs or pass them on to customers.
“The market is now increasing prices to reflect a substantial decrease in raw product and huge hikes. Food inflation still has a way to go.”
Isara, a new specialist investor in the food sector, has launched its debut £300m fund focused on improving the efficiency, quality and sustainability of food supply systems across the UK, Ireland and Western Europe.
Isara intends to invest in food production and distribution businesses, helping to stabilise and transform the existing food ecosystem which is undergoing structural shifts caused by rising inflation, the COVID-19 pandemic, labour supply scarcity, and a growing commitment to sustainability.
Led by Michael Rice, Isara’s team has extensive expertise working with businesses and management teams across the food sector, including Eight Fifty Food Group, Orchard House Foods, Chaucer Foods, West Cornwall Pasty Co, Heron Foods and Seabrooks, bringing hands-on experience and a network of specialist advisors to support portfolio companies.
While focusing on majority shareholding investments, the fund’s flexible investment approach will facilitate investment in opportunities where others cannot invest, as well as enabling Isara to take a longer-term view than traditional private equity investors. Practically, this means Isara can support the capital-intensive projects required to deliver radical improvement in the food industry which most investors are unable to deliver.
The fund is backed by the Sadel Group, a private family office which invests and operates in the Real Estate, Cold Storage and Energy sectors, predominantly in the UK & Western Europe. The Isara team will execute their own separate acquisition and investment thesis, while also being able to leverage the high level of technical skill present in existing Sadel businesses to help implement value creation plans where relevant.
Specific areas of consideration for Isara will include improving the carbon footprint of the businesses they invest in, ensuring industry leading corporate governance, supporting and strengthening leadership teams and workforces, and creating sustainable growth.
Michael Rice said: “We are on the cusp of a potential food crisis in the UK. We believe existing food production and supply chains have become inherently inefficient, and are under unsustainable levels of strain from a number of factors including the coronavirus crisis, increasing energy costs, food inflation and financial market volatility.
“At Isara, our fund will be used to champion increasing the efficiency and sustainability of food systems, seeking to address the challenges of long-term underinvestment, labour supply challenges, supply chain security and sustainability. Not only is this good business, but this will also create seismic benefits for the wider economy and, ultimately, the sector’s impact on the planet.”
How automation will bring predictability back to your business: By Scott Keefauver, Executive Director Marketing – Equipment and Automation – Sealed Air
- Labor optimization. Not labor reduction. Automation is about removing the uncertainty of day-to-day operations. It allows you to optimize the labor you have, while combatting labor turnover costs and minimizing disruption that can occur from daily unexpected labor shortages.
- The power of connectivity. Remote connectivity allows service technicians to leverage data to provide better insights and enable continuous improvement to line performance. This helps reduce downtime, allows you to quickly detect problems to prevent huge repairs later, extends equipment service life and reduces overtime costs.
- Predictability with a totally integrated solution. Packaging automation has become every bit as much about protecting production as it is enhancing it. It’s about reducing risk and finding a way to ensure your operation runs regardless of who does or does not show up for work that day. It’s about bringing predictability back to your plant by creating an environment that’s safe, flexible, and less dependent on restricted or uncertain resources.