NIGERIA – L&Z Integrated Farms Limited, an integrated dairy processing company in Nigeria, has bid farewell to one of its investors – Sahel Capital.
The private investment firm focused on the food and agriculture sector in sub-Saharan Africa, invested in L&Z in February 2015 through its maiden fund, Fund for Agriculture Finance in Africa (FAFIN), with aim to support the company in expanding its business operations.
L&Z is involved in the entire dairy value chain, from production, through processing, packaging to marketing.
Over the last seven years, Sahel Capital has worked with the dairy company to implement a broad range of value creation initiatives which boosted its dairy processing capacity and increased its milking cow herd size to ensure rise in milk production.
Other than financial backing, Sahel supported L&Z in onboarding top finance, operations, and sales talents, which enabled the company to accelerate its expansion across the country, deepen its distribution, and strengthen its governance process.
Noteworthy, with the investor’s support, the company brought onboard two independent directors onto the company’s board.
The advice and guidance of the independent directors were crucial for strengthening the institutional structures of the firm.
M.D Abubakar, Founder and CEO of L&Z, said, “We are delighted with our partnership with Sahel Capital. Their strategic and financial support was instrumental to our ability to scale beyond a family business to become one of Nigeria’s leading indigenous integrated dairy farms/processors.
“They also helped to shape our sustainability mindset, and we have become more intentional about incorporating ESG into our operations. We are poised for growth, we have the team, and we have the know-how – thanks to Sahel Capital!”
L&Z has had a significant development impact in the communities in northern Nigeria where it operates.
For instance, it has built milk collection centres which have aggregated about one million litres of milk from pastoralists, and facilitated artificial insemination to improve cattle genetics.
In addition, the company provided over 200 scholarships to the children of pastoralists in its community, including the enrolment of over 600 female children in school under its girl child initiative.
L&Z is one of the local companies driving Nigeria’s target to increase milk production from the current 600,000 metric tonnes to 1,700,000 metric tonnes by 2024, in a bid to reduce the US$1.5 billion dairy importation bill incurred by the country annually.
Mezuo Nwuneli, the Managing Partner of Sahel Capital, said, “Asides from the attractiveness of the dairy sector in Nigeria, we partnered with L&Z because we valued the integrity of the founders and their passion for the development of the industry.
“We are proud to have been a part of L&Z’s incredible growth and success story. L&Z has become a formidable brand in Nigeria’s dairy sector, and we are confident that the company will continue to play a pivotal role in the sector’s evolution over the coming years. “
Sahel Capitals’ exit from L&Z has been executed through an MBO led by the Founder of L&Z.