Danone has declined to comment on reports that it is in talks with private equity firm The Abraaj Group to acquire its minority stake in Kenyan dairy manufacturer, Brookside Dairy.
Several African media outlets reported earlier this week that the French dairy giant plans to purchase Abraaj's minority stake in Brookside Dairy, East Africa’s leading dairy manufacturer.
Danone refused, however, to comment on the reports when approached by DairyReporter.com earlier today.
“We never comment on rumours,” said a Danone spokesperson.
Leading East African dairy
Since its inception in 1993, Brookside Dairy has grown to become East Africa’s leading dairy manufacturer. It currently boasts operations in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and exports to Rwanda, Burundi, the Indian Ocean Islands, Egypt and the Middle East.
It currently collects and processes 750,000 litres of milk per day, producing a wide range of dairy products including fresh and UHT milk, flavored milk, yogurt, butter, cream, ghee, and Kenyan cultured dairy product lala.
In 2009, The Abraaj Group injected approximately $18.7m (€13.7m) into Brookside Dairy through the Aureos Africa Fund in exchange for a minority shareholding.
The private equity firm also declined to comment when approached regarding the reports.
“The Abraaj Group does not comment on market rumours or speculation,” said an Abraaj spokesperson.
DairyReporter.com approached Brookside Dairy regarding the reports, but no response was forthcoming prior to publication.
Danone already boasts a significant presence on the African continent - in South Africa, a number of Maghreb markets, and, most recently, West Africa through its 2013 deal with The Abraaj Group to jointly acquire Fan Milk International.
Under the terms of the deal, Danone acquired a 49% minority stake in the company, which manufactures and markets a range of products, including fruit juices, frozen yogurt, ice cream, and flavored milk.
Danone’s interest in Fan Milk will, however, increase gradually into a controlling stake under the deal.