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FMCG South Africa

Heritage Capital drives growth in SA's specialty cheese sector

In a move to drive South Africa's specialty cheese sector, Heritage Capital, a 100% Black female-owned private equity fund manager, has announced its latest investment in the specialised dairy sector with Fairview Cheese.

This strategic move marks the culmination of Heritage Capital's maiden fund investment endeavours.

Since its inception in October 2017, Heritage Capital Fund I has been leveraging capital from investors such as the Transport Sector Retirement Fund (TSRF).

The infusion of additional institutional investors in May 2021 empowered the Fund to broaden its investment horizon, focusing on sectors crucial for South Africa's economic transformation, including industrial, services, and consumer-branded goods.

Fairview Cheese's addition to Heritage Capital's diverse portfolio underscores the fund's strategic vision.

Grace Chauke, investment officer at TSRF congratulated Heritage Capital on the successful closure of Fund 1.

She says “It is not only a testament to the expertise and dedication of the female-led team but also a significant milestone in promoting diversity and inclusion within the investment industry. As an investor, TSRF is thrilled to have been part of this journey and look forward to seeing the positive impact this fund will make in the market. Here’s to continued success and meaningful returns for all stakeholders involved.”

Philile Maphumulo, managing partner at Heritage Capital, emphasises the fund's commitment to fostering job creation, skills development, and transformative impact within the South African economy.

Maphumulo states, "Our investment philosophy centers on companies that contribute to local manufacturing and service provision."

Fairview Cheese, based in Paarl in the Western Cape, epitomises artisanal excellence in cheese production. Boasting a repertoire of over 50 cow's and goat's milk cheeses, including white mould, blue mould, feta, and cream cheese, Fairview's products are available in major retailers.

The company recently expanded its offerings to include plant-based cheese and ice cream, catering to evolving consumer preferences.

Their product innovation has recently landed the company the Qualité Mark of Excellence for six of its products, the greatest number of awards to any other participant, at the prestigious 2024 South African Dairy Awards.

Echoing Fairview Cheese's ethos, Heritage Capital emphasises the importance of aligning with partners who share their values, fostering synergistic collaborations for sustainable value creation. Heritage Capital has partnered with Nurture Brands, a long-term investor in the growing functional and convenience food sector.

Maphumulo affirms, "Our partnership with Fairview Cheese and Nurture Brands exemplifies our dedication to generating positive returns and long-term impact."

Riël Mallan, partner at EXEO Capital and chairman of Nurture Brands commented: "We are delighted to be co-invested with the dynamic team of Heritage Capital in Fairview Cheese. This will hopefully be the first of many collaborations in the functional & convenience food sector between Heritage Capital, EXEO Capital and Nurture Brands."

"The South African specialty cheese sector is primed for above-average growth, aligning with global trends in cheese consumption," remarks Maphumulo.

"Factors such as increased home-based food consumption, remote work dynamics, and innovative product offerings by producers like Fairview Cheese are anticipated to propel this growth trajectory."

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