WHILE scouring the internet for something different to do with the sale of Dairy Corporation by Sameer Agriculture and Livestock Limited to Brookside Dairy Limited, I kept brushing away that ka-irritating feeling until I fell upon this article:
That was the truth told straight up! Uganda’s leading dairy corporation was actually owned all along by a Kenyan.
But to be strict about the situation, Uganda’s leading dairy corporation (SALL – Sameer Agriculture & Livestock Limited) was actually owned by a joint venture between the Kenyan-owned Sameer Group and the Indian owned RJ Corporation.
Kenya’s Sameer Group is a large conglomerate with operations running across the region producing and selling, besides dairy products: tyres, internet access, tea, coffee, healthcare products, cars, real estate, and some other things I don’t know. Forbes figures that it’s owner, Naushad Merali, is worth US$550million.
RJ Corporation, meanwhile, is reportedly India’s largest bottler of Pepsi products, but says it is divided into three business segments – Beverage, Food and Education. Its owner, Ravi Jaipuria, was declared to be one of India’s newest billionaires in 2013, according to Forbes.
Whereas SALL was running this Uganda operation, my internet searches don’t actually call it Ugandan anywhere.
Push that thought aside as you consider that the Kenya-owned Brookside Dairy Corporation is part-owned – 40% of it – by the French Danone, and 10% of it by a Dubai-based private equity firm called Abraaj Capital.
So Dairy Corporation milk, cheese, butter and yoghurt, and Daima juices are going to be served to us by a French-Emirati-Kenyan joint venture, as opposed to a Kenyan-Indian one.
But that’s okay, provided that the milk and raw fruits that go into these products comes from Ugandan farmers growing rich off the proceeds.
Forgive me, though, as I continue to buy products that concentrate returns locally – like JESA and Megha, for instance, but that is not to say that I won’t continue drinking Daima juice or taking up the occasional Dairy Corporation products when my favourites are unavailable.
That aside, and more importantly: WHEN and HOW do WE get our tycoons to do such things rather than import clothing and build arcades?