ETHIOPIA-Norfund, the Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries managed by 54 Capital, has announced a US$21 million growth capital investment into Ethiopia’s largest Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) platform SAMANU.

SAMANU is a platform company with well-established brands operating in Ethiopia’s main FMCG sub-sectors (Tena Edible Oils, 555 and Aura Soap & Detergents, and Chef Luca wheat products).

The investment is in line with Norfund’s goal to develop large oilseeds clusters in Ethiopia over the next six years, providing livelihoods for 200,000 smallholder farmers

The funds will support the construction of a new solvent extraction plant to produce edible oils based on locally sourced sesame, sunflower, and soya beans in its refineries.

 This move will reduce dependency on imported raw materials thereby creating jobs as well as increasing Ethiopia’s food security.

According to Norfund, the project will initially identify 642 clusters and sign contracts with around 5,000 to 7,000 smallholder farmers.

The farmers will be supported with inputs like high-quality seeds, fertilizers, training, and capacity building, as well as agricultural technology to boost productivity through its Business Support Facility.

Andreas Davidsen, Norfund’s VP of Scalable Enterprises- Agribusiness and Manufacturing, said the Investment Fund is ready to partner with SAMANU and support the execution of the joint vertical integration strategy, creating jobs and increasing food security.

He said the Investment Fund strongly believes in the opportunities for local food production in Ethiopia and Norfund looks forward to working closely with the SAMANU management team and 54 Capital to help implement best-in-class practices and solutions.

”SAMANU is already home to some of Ethiopia’s leading FMCG brands and has ambitious plans to expand its product offering to meet the rising demand for high quality locally produced brands,” said Davidson.

“Norfund looks forward to working closely with the SAMANU management team and 54 Capital to help implement best in class practises and solutions”.

On his part, Saad Aouad, 54 Capital PE Advisors’ Chief Investment Officer, said that the investment demonstrates the robustness of the strategy for further enhancing the value chain within Ethiopia which will undoubtedly benefit from Norfund’s extensive experience across the continent.

The investment is Norfund’s first in manufacturing which signals strong institutional backing for the consumer goods platform in Ethiopia.

54 Capital is a leading Africa-focused Asset Manager, regulated by the FSC in Mauritius, with offices in Dubai, Morocco, and Addis Ababa.

 It is the largest private equity investor in Ethiopia, with a total investment of over US$ 200 million in the country.

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