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#BreakingNews: Montego secures investment for Africa expansion plans

by Louise Burgers. The largest privately-owned pet food producer in Africa, Montego, has secured an investment from Janic Capital, a permanent capital vehicle that makes long term private equity and venture equity investments, to aid its expansion plans into Africa.

by Louise Burgers. The largest privately-owned pet food producer in Africa, Montego, has secured an investment from Janic Capital, a permanent capital vehicle that makes long term private equity and venture equity investments, to aid its expansion plans into Africa.

Montego Pet Nutrition, owned by the Van Jaarsveld family, received approval from the South African Competition Commission to secure a minority growth investment from Janic Capital, owned by the Dippenaar family.

The undisclosed investment into the company forms part of Montego’s growth and expansion strategy for 2020/2021, which includes growing its share in the local market and the establishment of a prominent footprint in other African countries and abroad. This aligns with its vision of being an international pet food brand of choice, recognised for exceptional quality, value, and the positive change it brings to the communities in which it operates.

Montego managing director, Johan van Jaarsveld, said in a press statement over the weekend, that this investment and subsequent expansion plans will set the company in good stead to meet and exceed demands by the ever-growing and evolving pet food industry. Members of Janic Capital will also join the Montego board of directors.

“The incoming directors will work with the rest of the board to implement our growth strategy as we increase our market share and foothold in local and international pet food markets,” said Van Jaarsveld.

Montego was founded in 2000 by the Van Jaarsveld family, who retain a majority stake and will continue to be responsible for the business’ operations. Janic Capital’s minority investment into Montego and its affiliate companies (Montego Logistics and Montego Namibia (PTY) Ltd) was concluded in December 2019.

In turn, Adriaan Dippenaar, Janic Capital managing director, commented in the same press statement: “Janic Capital’s investment philosophy is to back and partner with ethically aligned entrepreneurial owner managers, which have a proven track record of execution and creating value for all stakeholders. We believe Montego and the Van Jaarsveld family encompass all these attributes and we are excited about partnering with them.”

In October last year, Montego had to recall some of its pet food, largely in Gauteng, after mold was discovered, according to a public statement at the time.

South Africa’s pet food industry is a mixture of local producers and importers, and has shown steady growth in the past few years. According to World-grain.com, by 2016, South Africa’s value of imported and exported pet foods was estimated at $40 million and $20 million, respectively, by the Global Trade Atlas statistics, a global merchandise trade statistics database. The United States, France and the Netherlands contributed 75% of the total pet food imports, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

“South Africa’s pet food industry has recorded an increase in sales since 2014 with the $94.5 million achieved in 2016 being the highest in the last four years. The sales volumes were higher than those of 2014 and 2015 when local manufacturers and importers sold $73.7 million and $89.7 million of pet food, respectively. Although the 2018 data on the number of pets, particularly dogs and cats, was not immediately available, South Africa is estimated to have had 9.1 million dogs and 2.4 cats by 2014. These pet numbers are driving increase in consumption of pet foods in the country where the domestic pet food market is dominated by Martin & Martin, Mars Africa and RCL Foods and its subsidiary Food Corp, among others,” the World-grain.com report stated.

Louise Burgers (previously Marsland) is the Publisher and Editor of RetailingAfrica.com. She’s spent over 20 years writing about the FMCG retailing, marketing, media and advertising industry in South Africa and on the African continent. She has specialised in local and Africa  consumer trends and is a passionate Afro-optimist who believes it is Africa’s time to rise again and that the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) will be a global game changer in the next decade.

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