Brookside Dairy is majority-owned by the Kenyatta Family, of which President Uhuru Kenyatta is a key member, while SALL is a subsidiary of Sameer Group, a Kenyan conglomerate with interests in financial services, property, agriculture and offshoring. Sameer Group is owned by Naushad Merali who is the 2nd richest Kenyan with a fortune FORBES estimates at $550 million.
According to a report by Kenya’s Standard Newspaper, the deal will involve Brookside taking over the management of SALL’s contracted farmers and assets, including production of its fresh dairy products, which enjoy significant market share in Uganda. Brookside will also upgrade all SALL’s milk cooling and processing facilities in Uganda. Terms of the deal were not disclosed and executives from both Sameer and Brookside were not available to comment as at press time.
Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta listens at the State House in Dar es Salaam, on May 13, 2015 as Tanzanian President and East African Community chair Jakaya Kikwete speaks at the extra-ordinary East African Community summit on the Burundi crisis. (Photo credit Daniel Hayduk/AFP/Getty Images)
Brookside, which was founded in Kenya in 1993, produces and markets fresh milk, yoghurt and butter in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The company controls more than 45% of the Kenyan processed milk market (by intake). Recently, the company has been deepening its Africa expansion with acquisitions in the East Africa region, and is currently working to establish a dairy plant in Nigeria. Last year French food group Danone acquired a 40% stake in Brookside for several million dollars. The Kenyatta family still remains the dominant shareholder in Brookside with a 50% stake, while Abraaj Capital, a Dubai-based private equity firm, owns 10% of the company.
The Kenyatta family is one of the wealthiest families in Africa. Apart from their holdings in Brookside, they own extensive land holdings across Kenya, as well as controlling stakes in Heritage Hotels, media firm Mediamax and Commercial Bank of Africa. In 2011, President Uhuru Kenyatta featured in FORBES’ inaugural ranking of Africa’s richest people with a fortune we estimated at $500 million but was dropped off subsequent lists because of new information regarding the complex distribution of business assets among the Kenyatta family members.