Development Partners International makes USD56m investment in SICAM

Pan-African private equity firm Development Partners International (DPI), through its third fund ADP III, has made a USD56 million investment in Tunisian tomato processing and agri-business, SICAM.

Established in 1969, SICAM is a leading producer of canned tomatoes, pepper pastes, and jams and one of the most recognised brand names in Tunisia’s food and agri-industry, with a strong track record of delivering quality products to its customers. Wholly owned by the Bayahi Group, a leading Tunisian conglomerate, SICAM has quickly become the fastest growing player and market leader of the sauces and condiments segment in Tunisia, in part driven by its strong relationships with the local farming industry, enabling it access to consistent tomato harvests. 

SICAM is the only player operating through a vertically integrated model including PROCAN (100 per cent subsidiary of SICAM) which manufactures metallic cans for SICAM in various formats, and SICAM AGRI (50.5 per cent subsidiary of SICAM) which provides farmers with technical advice, financing, tools and agricultural inputs. Despite the Covid-19 crisis, demand remains strong given the nature of SICAM’s products and sales continue to increase. 

DPI, as an active investor, will be partnering with the Bayahi Group to support SICAM’s management team in the development of SICAM’s future strategy and growth opportunities, including further strengthening SICAM’s leading position in its core market of Tunisia, as well as developing its export strategy in light of Tunisia’s and SICAM’s competitiveness in the industry. Through this partnership, SICAM will benefit from DPI’s significant regional and sector expertise and its active management approach to investing. 

The investment also reaffirms DPI’s commitment to driving economic development across Africa, with agriculture being key to the continued advancement of Africa’s fast growing emerging middle class. SICAM’s partnership model with local farmers and the canned food products processed and sold by the company cater to the emerging middle class. DPI, through its Impact and ESG team, will also focus during the investment period on increasing resilience to climate change impacts and on promoting sustainable agricultural practices throughout the business and supply chain. The investment will allow SICAM to further improve the incomes of the farmers it partners with and the sustainability of food supply in the country.

Runa Alam, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at DPI, says: “We are pleased to be investing in SICAM. The agri-business industry presents an excellent way for DPI to deliver both financial returns while making an impact on the lives of SICAM stakeholders.” 

Sofiane Lahmar, Partner at DPI, says: “SICAM has successfully positioned itself as the market leader in the Tunisian tomato business, with its products becoming household names across the country, synonymous with quality. Access to food and food production are key to Africa’s continued economic growth and development and SICAM is well positioned to benefit from these macro trends. DPI looks forward to working with the experienced Bayahi Group, who possess a strong track record of building successful businesses of scale across the country”.

Tahar Bayahi, SICAM Chairman and CEO, says: “We are delighted to welcome DPI on board as experienced and active investors as we focus on bringing our quality food and tomato products to our existing and expanding customer base. DPI has significant sector experience and expertise investing across the region, and we look forward to working with them to continue to drive the growth of our business and SICAM’s international and export strategy."