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IFC Invests In Senegal’s Agribusiness Sector
Patisen, a food processing company, has become one of the most visible companies in Senegal by using clever print and billboard advertising associating its food products with pastimes Senegalese are passionate about, such as wrestling.Now, as the company celebrates its 30th anniversary, it is teaming up with IFC to expand its food processing production and distribution capacities throughout West Africa, a main goal of IFC’s effort to support the agribusiness sector in the region. Patisen and IFC recently signed an agreement for IFC to invest $14.3 million in the company.
IFC is providing a financing package consisting of an equity investment of $3.2 million and a subordinated loan of $11 million to support Patisen’s expansion in West Africa. Patisen will use the IFC financing to increase its production capacity, establish a new factory and warehouse facilities, and diversify its product offering.
“IFC’s investment and partnership with Patisen will help strengthen the competitiveness of West Africa’s agribusiness and food-processing sector, which is vital to the region's economy and an important part of IFC strategy in the region,” said Yolande Duhem, IFC’s Director for Sub-Saharan Africa. “The investment should increase employment opportunities, provide affordable processed food to low income consumers, and also benefit Patisen’s local small business suppliers and distributors.”
On top of its investment, IFC will help Patisen strengthen its operations by offering strategic advice, and advising on corporate governance, insurance, environmental, and social standards.
Youssef Omais, founder and CEO of Patisen, said: “This investment will enable us to implement our long-term regional growth strategy. IFC’s backing will help Patisen adopt international best practices and transform us into a regional champion.”
Patisen produces bouillon cubes and powder, chocolate and peanut spreads and margarine. In addition to food processing, Patisen runs a wholesale imported food distribution business which targets hotels, restaurants, and supermarkets.
The agribusiness sector is a key strategic priority for IFC, especially in the face of the growing challenge of food security in Africa. The sector’s significance is further underscored because it employs a large percentage of Africa’s labor force, and has a strong impact on micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.
IFC’s investment in Patisen reflects the organization’s commitment towards supporting viable local companies that will help develop Senegal’s agribusiness value chain and increase food security.