UGANDA – The Rise Fund, a global impact investment fund managed by American private equity firm, TPG Capital has acquired a 34% stake in Uganda’s leading dairy company, Pearl Dairy.

Pearl, which markets its products under the flagship brand LATO, is the largest dairy processor in Uganda, with installed processing capacity of 800,000 liters of raw milk per day.

Operating since 2013, Pearl Dairy’s vision is to create more consistent demand for Uganda’s smallholder farmers, while promoting more hygienic milk production techniques.

Since inception, the company has grown rapidly to help meet demand for quality, nutritious and affordable dairy products in regional markets, selling LATO branded milk powder, long-life and flavoured milk, butter and ghee.

With more than 1,200 employees in Uganda and 1,800 across East Africa, Pearl Dairy sources raw milk from more than 10,000 smallholder farmers in Uganda and sells across 10 countries in Africa and Asia.

The investment from The Rise Fund will enable the dairy processor to expand and enhance its operations.

Commenting on the investment, Amit Sagar, Pearl Dairy CE said: “Pearl Dairy was established with a dual vision of improving the lives of thousands of smallholder famers in the region and providing consumers with safe, nutritious, and affordable dairy products,”

 “We are excited to be partnering with The Rise Fund and are looking forward to utilizing their global expertise to help build an inclusive ecosystem that will have an even larger impact on the lives of millions of Africans.”

Jide Olanrewaju, Partner at The Rise Fund added, “In Asia and East Africa, three out of every four farmers have limited access to markets and credit.

“Pearl Dairy’s impressive footprint across these markets provides vital reach and resources for smallholder farmers, positioning the company to create positive impact that will scale as the business grows,”

“We are excited to partner with Pearl as they continue to provide vital infrastructure and training to farmers alongside quality milk products for consumers across the region.” 

This marks The Rise Fund’s second investment in the dairy sector, following their investment in India-based Dodla Dairy in 2017, which also focuses on elevating smallholder farmers.

The Rise Fund also has an expanding footprint in Africa, with investments in Kenyan digital payments company Cellulant and Botswana-based ecotourism group Wilderness Safaris, among others.

Its parent company, TPG Capital recently acquired a 33.9% stake in Kenyan dairy processor, Maziwa Limited to deepen its roots in thriving milk industry.