Private Equity firms DOB, AHL Ventures jointly acquire Kenyan Cropnuts Laboratory

KENYA – Dutch DOB Equity, a family-backed impact investment firm that invests in impactful and innovative businesses in East Africa has added local agro firm Cropnuts to its Kenyan portfolio in partnership with AHL Ventures after the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) gave a nod to the joint – acquisition.

“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.

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Crop Nutrition Laboratory Services Limited (Cropnuts) is an independent, fully integrated, ISO 17025 accredited agricultural laboratory and agronomy services company in East Africa.

They provide Centralised Laboratory testing (soil, water, plant and food safety), Mobile Soil Testing Platforms and agricultural advisory and feasibility services, to large, medium and smallholder farmers, as well as governments and agribusiness investors.

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

According to Business Daily, 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.

“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.

The move by DOB is part of an aggressive round of acquisitions after it signalled its intent to ramp up its investments in the country.

In August, DOB partnered with Consumer goods company, Unilever in partnership and Global Innovation Fund (GIF) to co-invested in Mr. Green Africa, a Nairobi based recycler and recycled plastics supplier.

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.

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