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Talem Africa Acquires Morocco-based Silver Food

Talem Africa Acquires Morocco-based Silver Food

(Dubai; August 24, 2015): Talem Africa (Talem), the Africa-focused company head-quartered in Dubai (the United Arab Emirates), has bought 100% of the shares of Silver Food, the largest fish canning facility in Morocco, and its two wholly-owned subsidiaries SOPCODA and Silver Fishing. The three companies were part of Anouar Invest, a Moroccan family-owned conglomerate.

Founded in 2004 and based in Casablanca, Morocco, Silver Food is an industry leader producing and selling canned tuna, mackerel and sardines, under three brands – Mario, Silver and Atlanta. Half of its sales are within the Moroccan market, with the other half set for export to other parts of Africa, the Middle East, Europe and the United States. Its subsidiary SOPCODA provides fish freezing services while Silver Fishing operates a 200-ton capacity deep-sea fishing vessel. Together, the three companies cover the entire value chain in the fish business.

“This acquisition is a strategic move towards our goal to create a leading consumer-facing food and beverage player in Africa. Silver Food’s existing business has a solid grounding and provides an excellent platform to further accelerate revenue growth internationally. Our immediate focus will be international business development, especially in Africa and in Europe, and we are confident of being able to at least double the revenues in the next five years,” said Honoré Dainhi, CEO of Talem Africa.

Honore Dainhi added, “We are very serious about our business ambitions in Africa and have some 15 priority countries in Africa for our investments. Currently we are reviewing a number of other acquisition opportunities so as to further diversify and grow our food and beverage business across Africa.”

About Talem Africa: Talem is a company focused on consumer-facing branded Food & Beverage industries. Talem was formed with the goal to create a leading African company in the Food & Beverage space, primarily through acquisitions in order to fast track its development. Talem is a strategic investor, with a long term view. Talem is head-quartered in Dubai (the United Arab Emirates), and is part of a group of companies operating in food, media and consumables distribution in over 20 countries, in particular in Asia, Africa, Europe, and America.

What accounted for this astonishing turn-around?

Team members point to a few key factors.

First of all, Kenya Power changed the way it was doing business, adopting a community-based approach in slum communities. This meant no longer taking down illegal connections. Instead, it focused on listening to community members and leaders, and marketing the benefits of the legal connections – safety, reliability, and affordability.

The utility also stepped up collaboration with the Kenya Informal Settlements Improvement Project (KISIP), a World Bank-supported government program with widespread networks and a strong reputation in the slums. This collaboration helped Kenya Power ‘segment’ the country’s slum areas and target areas where the new approach was most likely to take hold.

Meanwhile, the World Bank and the Global Partnership on Output-Based Aid, or GPOBA, was providing funding to Kenya Power for each new legal connection, supplemented by Kenya Power’s own resources. This “last mile” approach, taken from rural electrification programs, provided an assurance that electricity was actually reaching individual households. It also allowed Kenya Power to offer new connections under the program at a much lower rate than before. Under this scheme, legal power was now less expensive than what people had been paying middlemen for the illegal lines.

At the same time, the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) organized a South-South Knowledge Exchange for Kenya Power staff with experts from utilities in Brazil, Colombia and South Africa. A week-long event in May 2014 that focused on the experience of these utilities led Kenya Power to recognize the strength of the community-based approach.

The support through GPOBA and ESMAP was coordinated as part of a larger, $330 million World Bank project to help Kenya Power expand and modernize the country’s electricity sector.

Most importantly, the new approach got buy-in from the top management of the utility, which committed Kenya Power’s considerable resources to the slum electrification program.

“Our top management bought in to the [community-based] approach around December 2014. From that point, we had a dramatic change,” says Mr. Mwangi.

Now, entering urban poor communities like Kibera, Mathare, or Kayole, one can see Kenya Power’s new lines, meters, and breaker boxes everywhere. Meters are read from the top of the line, which helps prevent theft, and consumers can see – and pay for – their electricity consumption on digital keypads in their homes.

“Compared to the illegal power, it has better and brighter light,” said Bentha Anyango, a resident in Mathare settlement.  “It just as cheap as the illegal power, but it’s safe, so we embrace it.”

Most consumers use as pay-as-you-go scheme, buying pre-paid chits, available at any corner store, and paying for electricity in small increments. In fact, many of the former vendors of illegal electricity are now in the (legal) business of selling Kenya Power chits.

Under the slum electrification program, customers pay 1,165 Kenyan Shillings, or $12, for a new connection, as compared to $150 for regular customers. The difference is made up by the GPOBA subsidy, a World Bank IDA grant, and Kenya Power’s own resources. Consumers under the program can even pay this connection charge in installments – another lesson of the South-South knowledge exchange.

The availability of safe, reliable and affordable power has meant that the demand for Kenya Power’s legal connections has spread, as Mary Njiraini put it, like fire.

“People now come to us, asking us to light their communities,” said Dr. Chumo. “This is no longer a Kenya Power project.  It’s their project.”

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