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The Abraaj Group Invests in Colombian Food Manufacturer QBCo

10 October 2017

The Abraaj Group made its fourth investment in Colombia with the acquisition of a majority stake in Colombian private label food manufacturing company QBCo.

(Press Release)

  • Company’s growth will be driven by expansion of disc­ount retailers and increased demand for private label products in Colombia
  • Abraaj will support QBCo to gain a stronger domestic and regional market share, with a focus on new products and geographic expansion
  • Deal marks Abraaj’s 19th investment in the Pacific Alliance and 4th investment in Colombia

Bogota, Colombia, 10 October 2017: The Abraaj Group (“Abraaj” or the “Group”), a leading investor operating in growth markets, today announced that it has acquired, through one of its Funds, a majority stake in QBCo SAS (“QBCo” or the “Company”), the largest private label food manufacturing company in Colombia. Having successfully invested in 20 fast-moving consumer goods (“FMCG”) sector companies across growth markets, Abraaj will use its expertise to expand QBCo’s product categories, support the development of best-in-class service levels, strengthen its retailer relationships, and focus on implementing operational improvements to support QBCo’s expansion across Latin America and the United States.

QBCo was established in 1961 as an oil and fats company by Iván Hoyos, member of a prominent entrepreneurial family in Colombia. In 2013, QBCo reinvented itself as a private label food manufacturing company focusing on four categories: edible oils, margarines, preserves/canned food and pet food. Today, the Company offers more than 55 products to over 150 clients in Colombia, Panamá, Ecuador and the United States. Its production facility, located in Buga, Valle del Cauca, employs around 400 staff.  QBCo is certified under international standards of quality with ISO 9001, Kosher and HACCP, and is currently in the process of obtaining an International Featured Standard (IFS) certificate.

The private label industry in Colombia is experiencing rising demand due to an increased penetration of discount retailers, with store numbers expected to triple in five years. According to the Nielsen Global Private Label Report, Colombia ranks as the number one private label developer in Latin America. Given its strategic focus on the private label industry, QBCo is in a strong position to take advantage of market demand.

Commenting on the investment, Miguel Olea, Partner at Abraaj in Latin America, added: “We are delighted to partner with QBCo, as the company has clearly demonstrated it is a uniquely positioned champion in a fast-moving and extremely competitive sector. There is an obvious growth story here, against the backdrop of a bullish dynamic across the region, presenting substantial possibilities for companies with strong business models. QBCo is one such company, as it is led by an experienced management team which has both diversified its product portfolio and achieved double-digit growth rates in recent years. We look forward to working with QBCo, helping the company expand the business and support its continued growth.”

Carlos Payán, Chairman of the Board of QBCo, added: “Since QBCo’s establishment in 1961, we have grown to become Colombia’s leading private label food producer, offering a broad portfolio of products to over 150 clients. We continue to see an exciting opportunity to further expand our footprint in core markets and in the region. The Abraaj Group holds an impressive track record in the FMCG business, having taken companies like ours to the next stage of growth and evolution. We are delighted to welcome Abraaj as our partner of choice and look forward to working closely with their team to extend our market leadership position.”

QBCo marks Abraaj’s 19th investment in the Pacific Alliance and the 4th investment in Colombia. In the FMCG sector, Abraaj has invested in 20 companies, including Libstar, the largest unlisted food manufacturer in South Africa and Brookside Dairy, the largest dairy player in East Africa, among others.