KENYA – DOB Equity, the Dutch, family-owned and private equity fund has acquired an unknown stake in Kenyan based agro-processing company Ten Senses Africa for an undisclosed sum.

According to a Business Daily report, the impact fund will help in the company’s expansion of its processing capacity as well as in financing and launch of new products in the market.

For DOB Equity, the deal will enable it tap into the macadamia nuts market which is rapidly growing.

The deal enables the private equity fund further invest in macadamia industry, away from its portfolio consisting of online retailer Copia, M-Kopa, Barefoot Power, Bridge International Academies and Globology Ltd.

“We are very pleased and looking forward to working with DOB Equity on the expansion of Ten Senses,” said CEO of Ten Senses Africa Frank Omondi.

“We have an ambitious growth trajectory and to unlock the full potential throughout the value chain, we need a local partner like DOB Equity that understands what it takes to secure sourcing, improve the process and enter new markets.”

Close to 2 years ago, DOB Equity bought a stake in Kenya’s Countryside Dairy Ltd at an undisclosed value, describing it as one of Kenya’s largest social impact investment in the dairy sector.

This 2016 deal came after it acquired a significant stake in another Kenyan food wholesaler Twiga Foods, again for an undisclosed sum.

Demand for organic, traceable nuts

A stake in Ten Senses, which buys nuts from farmers in Kenya’s coastal region will enable DOB Equity meet demand for organic, traceable and fair-trade nuts and their products from Africa.

This is even as the demand is rising at both local and international market, with health-conscious consumers yearning for the ‘superfoods’.

In regard to this, Ten Senses will diversify its product base, with more nuts and including dried fruits, using existing sourcing infrastructure and markets.

“We expect the growing global demand for health-conscious and natural, organic products to continue over the long-term.

As one of the largest certified organic producers in Kenya, Ten Senses is well-positioned to benefit from these trends,” said the CEO of DOB Equity Brigit van Dijk-van de Reijt in a statement.

According to Saskia van der Mast, Investment Manager of DOB Equity, the partnership was not only vital for business but also attracted by the social as well as environmental impact of the sector.

Macadamia processing is zero-waste, its shells are used as fuel, the cracked nuts are being sold and those rejected are being used for high value macadamia oil.

Macadamias which make up barely 1% of the global tree nut market have a strong market in terms of record prices, with strong demand from China, USA and the EU.