By Ben Oduor
DOB Equity, a Dutch family-owned independent long-term investor in companies in East Africa, is set to invest US$4million (Ksh400,000,000) in Africa Logistics Properties Holding (ALP), an integrated property company that acquires, develops and manages modern logistics warehousing across Africa.
The amount is to allow ALP build warehousing developments and expand its operations across East Africa.
DOB will invest alongside CDC Group, UK-based finance institution, IFC, the private sector focused global development institution and member of the World Bank Group, and Co-founder Maris, a diversified investments group operating across African frontier markets as well as Mbuyu Capital, the UK asset manager, and other local and international investors.
DOB believes a well-functioning logistics sector is crucial for economic development, and this investment would offer both the international and local companies with modern, high quality and efficient warehousing which has been limited in the region.
The company says ALP seeks to tap into this underdeveloped warehousing sector by providing grade-A, international standard warehousing in a bid to offer tenants access to proper logistics services.
According to Brigit van Dijk-van de Reijt, DOB Equity CEO, ALB aims to bring an innovative solution to the warehousing sector in Kenya.
“The warehousing supply in East Africa is still fragmented, often located in congested areas, and lacking in overall industrial quality. It can be unsuitable for occupiers because of high operational and cost inefficiencies that hamper international companies looking to set up local operations, and prevent local SME’s to reach scale,” he says, adding:
“ALP helps to drive logistical costs down by providing grade-A warehousing facilities which create built-for-purpose supply chain infrastructure to drive efficiencies that should lead to lower prices for consumers. ALP aims to enable companies focus on their core competencies instead of having to construct, manage, and maintain warehouses on their own. For SME’s in particular, their services will create instant growth opportunities.”
On the other hand, Saskia van der Mast, Investment Manager at DOB Equity, says: “We believe Kenya is ideally located as an entry point and hub for eastern and central Africa to benefit from the region’s industrialization, growing trade, and expanding consumer markets.”
“DOB Equity is investing in a team (led by Toby Selman) that has extensive emerging markets experience in warehouse development, which will be able to make the most of this opportunity.”
On his part, Toby Selman, the CEO and Co-Founder of ALP, says: “As ALP are also targeting Kenyan growth businesses in addition to larger, international companies, we are pleased to have DOB Equity on board as they have a strong foothold in the local SME market, which will benefit us going forward.”