Pearl Capital Partners invests in accredited analytical laboratory

11 Jun 2019

Having been set up with financing from the European Union (EU) through the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and National Social Security Fund Uganda (NSSF) and managed by Pearl Capital Partners (PCP), the Yield Uganda Investment Fund has committed UGX 1.3Bn to Chemiphar (U) Ltd alongside Agricultural Business Initiative’s (aBi) grant injection of UGX 2.45Bn.

Chemiphar is an internationally accredited analytical laboratory located on the outskirts of Kampala, in Kansanga, whose core business is to provide testing and inspection services to SME businesses operating in food and beverages, agro-products, environment, pharmaceutical and cosmetics as well as agricultural seeds. Chemiphar therefore essentially acts as an enabler to agri-businesses which are required to meet international standards for both export and local certification of their processed and value-added products.

In view of Yield Fund’s partnership with aBi, the objective of the investment is majorly to enhance the company’s capacity to meet the growing local demand of quality and efficient laboratory testing services and also to have the ability to fulfill specific requirements of local and foreign markets, especially with the increasing growth of Uganda’s exports and standards. As part of the Yield Fund package, Chemiphar will also benefit from a matching grant from the Fund’s Business Development Support (BDS) facility managed by IFAD.

Annick Uytterhaegen, founder and CEO of Chemiphar (U) Ltd, with delight, said that; “At Chemiphar we are so happy and grateful that the Yield Fund and aBi have considered our request for support. Thanks to these grants and financing, we will be able to bring the company to another level and develop areas of the company that we wanted to improve since a long time but for which we were meeting financial constraints. Chemiphar has always committed resources and time to address areas of utmost importance, especially where Uganda or the region can have a competitive advantage. For more than 20 years now, Chemiphar, thanks to its international accreditations has helped industries to export their products to the world whether fish, honey, vanilla, cocoa or any others. But we sometimes had to navigate by winds and tides, because quality comes at a cost. It is great to know that our efforts have been recognized and that we will receive support to be able to better perform our work, to create awareness about the importance of quality standards in the country and to continue focusing on our mission.”

European Union Ambassador to Uganda, H.E. Attilio Pacifici expressed his delight with the new investment. "This investment by the Yield Uganda Investment Fund is a practical example of progressive partnerships between Europe and Africa reflecting the new Europe-Africa Alliance for Sustainable Investments and Jobs which aims to promote inclusive growth, job creation and sustainable development in Africa," he said.

“IFAD is delighted to have Chemiphar (U) Ltd join the Yield Uganda Investment Fund portfolio”, said Lakshmi Moola, the IFAD Country Programme Manager for Uganda. “Through this partnership, Chemiphar will play an important role in supporting Uganda's Agriculture SMEs, by providing modern testing facilities, helping them unlock important markets for the producers and smallholder farmers. We are looking forward to a successful partnership.”

Mr. Richard Byarugaba, Managing Director NSSF said that “a total of Euros 3.3 million dollars has been committed with Euros 1.7 million so far disbursed through the Yield Fund to entities that are focused on value addition within the Ugandan agricultural sector”. He added that the investment in Chemiphar was timely because Chemiphar is the only international accredited laboratory in Uganda and as such plays a critical role in clearing agricultural products for exports from Uganda, both to the region and beyond.

Dr. Edward Isingoma Matsiko, PCP Partner responsible for the investment transaction said: "As a country, Uganda has had a number of challenges with exports including bans like the renowned fish ban which, thanks to Chemiphar, was lifted in 2001. Since then, Chemiphar as a business has been an enabler in ensuring that the quality and standards of what the country trades locally and exports are done thoroughly. There’s no doubt that the resilience, passion and expertise of Chemiphar’s team will continue growing to this effect. We are excited at being a part of the company’s expansion and growth efforts.”

Francis Chesang, COO, aBi reiterated that aBi’s commitment to support Chemiphar is realizing its objective of enhancing its analytical capacity to facilitate food safety, quality and compliance with internationally accepted standards to spur exports while guaranteeing the safety of the consumer. “We are confident that this outcome will be fostered through: increasing the range of export and safety compliance; increasing Chemiphar’s profitability and sustainability; strengthening Chemiphar’s controls and technical competence and promoting compliance of standards among exporters and stakeholders,” said Chesang.

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