Africinvest’s Maghreb Private Equity Fund IV (MPEF IV) has acquired 1.8 million new shares, representing 16.20% of the capital of the Tunisian dairy company Land’Or. Land’Or is a local market leader in processed cheese and owner of the Land’Or, Fondue, and Campo Verde cheese brands.
The acquisition means the MPEF IV fund now owns a 21.6% shareholding in the company. Land’Or was founded in 1996 and primarily makes processed cheese for use on pizzas. Its products sell in 15 countries, although its two main markets are Tunisia and Morocco. Morocco alone accounts for 28% of sales.
Land’Or is the #2 player in the cheese market in Tunisia behind Mabrouk group’s Industries Alimentaires de Tunisie. The company listed in the Tunisian stock exchange in 2013 in what was a heavily oversubscribed IPO.
In 2018, Land’Or had a turnover of 110.3m dinars ($38.9m), of which almost 2/3 came from its operations in Tunisia and 1/3 from export. Its main export markets are Morocco, Algeria and Libya. Export sales grew 20% over 2017 and the company’s growth strategy is to use Morocco as a springboard into targeting markets in West Africa.
In 2019, the company started construction on a new $11.3m 3,300m² cheese factory in Kenitra, north of Rabat. The facility is due to come online in Q1 2021 and will produce canned cheese, processed cheese for use in cooking and fresh cheese. With a processing capacity of 5,000 tonnes, the factory will increase the group’s total production by up to 25%.
The Maghreb Private Equity Fund IV was launched in 2017 and completed its final closing in December 2018 with commitments of around €194m. It typically makes investments between €8m and €25m.