Kenya Budget 2018: Govt prioritizes agricultural and manufacturing agenda but consumers may have to pay more

KENYA - With a long term goal of ‘creating jobs, transforming lives and sharing prosperity’, the 2018 budget centred at the government’s Big 4 Agenda of growing The contribution of manufacturing GDP from 9% to 15%, but consumers may be required to pay more due to proposed amendments to the VAT Act 2013, considered to…

General Mills’ venture arm invests in GoodBelly Probiotics in a US$12m funding

USA - General Mills' venture arm, 301 Inc. has invested in NextFoods, the parent company of US probiotics firm GoodBelly in a US$12 million funding. NextFoods is raising the funding led by 301 Inc., with additional capital coming from existing investors, including Emil Capital Partners. The deal is significant for General Mills and its venture…

Reserve Bank releases US$20m for 200,000 tons of wheat imports

ZIMBABWE - The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has released US$20 million for importation of wheat from Canada and Germany to supplement the insufficient national wheat stocks. This was as requested by millers following poor harvest in the drought-hit southern African country. The amount will be used to pay for 200,000 tonnes of wheat procured…

Footprint to Africa stakes US$16.68m in new yam and plantain processing plants

NIGERIA - The premium African news media and investment company, Footprint to Africa has invested more than US$16 million for new yam and plantain processing plants in order to enhance food security in Nigeria. The initiative is part of plans to bridge Nigeria’s food gap as well as achieve the government’s diversification agenda for the…

Vita Coco announces acquisition of Runa organic company

USA - All Market Inc. (AMI), the parent company of coconut water maker Vita Coco, today announced the acquisition of Runa, an organic energy drink brand made with the guayusa leaf. Runa, founded in 2009 by college buddies Tyler Gage and Dan MacCombie, produces eight-SKU line of energy drinks made from organic guayusa, a naturally…

Gotham Greens raised US$29 million in equity funding

USA - Gotham Greens, a leading urban greenhouse developer and grower of locally and sustainably grown produce, has announced the closing of US$29 million in Series C equity funding last month. According to the company, the new round brings the company's total funding until date to US$45 million, not including bank debt. Since its pioneering…

Kraft Heinz considers sale of children’s milk brand Complan

INDIA - Kraft Heinz Co., an American food company, is making considerations for a sale of children’s milk drink brand Complan in India, which could fetch about US$1 billion, according to Bloomberg. Kraft Heinz is currently working with an adviser to gauge interest in the business, according to sources who asked not to be identified…

BigBasket in talks to acquire majority stake in Kwik24 start-up company

INDIA - The Indian online grocery and food products provider, BigBasket is eying a majority stake in smart vending machines start-up Kwik24 in an effort to expand its offline grocery business. ET Retail reported that according to people familiar with the matter, BigBasket had earlier launched a pilot program with Kwik24 to deploy smart vending…

SA management considers buying the largest African feedlot valued at US$450m

SOUTH AFRICA - The management of the largest cattle feedlot in the continent, Karan Beef (Pty) Ltd is planning to acquire part or all of the firm from its owner Ivor Karan in a deal that values it at US$450 million, according to people familiar with the matter. An article by Bloomberg revealed that Karan…

Nestle to invest Outsiders Pizza brands as part of its innovation models

FRANCE - Nestle SA, in line with its innovation models called ‘internal incubators’ will invest in Outsiders Pizza Co. and Wildscape brands as part of its innovation approach through start-ups. The investment enables Nestle combine its broad capabilities and strength with the speed and mentality of a start-up in order to conform to the ever…