Aruwa Capital Management has launched a $20m West-Africa focused Private Equity co-investment vehicle, which is focused on closing the gender equality gap, and has completed its first investment, in Wemy Industries, Nigeria’s first and only indigenous personal hygiene company.
Adesuwa Okunbo Rhodes, Founding Partner of Aruwa Capital Management, said: “We are very excited to be making this investment in Wemy Industries , a true pioneer in its industry and local success story. Our investment will help them deliver the next stage of their growth trajectory.”
“With the rapidly growing population across West Africa and increased usage levels across its product segments due to urbanisation, the Company is uniquely placed to take advantage of the strong demand over the short, medium and long term.”
Wemy manufactures high-quality and affordable daily, disposable, personal hygiene products predominantly for women and infants, including sanitary pads, maternity pads and baby diapers.
Wemy has almost 200 employees and six production lines in its factory in Lagos State.
The business is over 40 years old and was founded in 1978.
Aruwa provides patient growth capital to companies in the lower middle market in West Africa, applying gender lens investing principles to its investment approach (ensuring the investment helps create positive social and economic benefits for women).
As part of the investment in Wemy the business will be implementing an action plan to improve its representation of women in its workforce, including at the most senior levels.
Okunbo Rhodes said: “Following the re-introduction of Wemy’s Dr Browns baby diaper range earlier this year, revenue for this financial year is 200% higher than last. This investment is aligned entirely with our objective of promoting locally owned and driven industrialisation, investing in indigenous manufacturing champions in import dominated industries, helping create jobs, generate taxes, export revenues and fuelling economic growth.”
“In addition, in line with Aruwa’s gender lens investing strategy, 80% of the Company’s products have a positive effect on women, from improved hygiene for menstruating teenage girls in rural areas in Northern Nigeria and improved maternal health across the country. This investment ticks a lot of the boxes for us and we look forward to working with the management team for the exciting journey ahead,” he added.
Paul Odunaiya, Managing Director and CEO of Wemy Industries, commented: “I am very excited to be working with the Aruwa team, we have been working with their team in one way or another for the last three years and their dedication and vision entirely aligns with the values we also have in our company. From our experience with Aruwa over that time, they have already shown us the significant value add they can bring through their deep relationships locally and their operational expertise.”
“Our long-term focus is to be the leading manufacturer of personal hygiene products across West Africa. The completion of this funding process is the first of the many steps in the achievement of our objectives. The investment will enable us increase our capacity significantly across all of our production lines and grow in both our domestic and export markets. The best is yet to come for Wemy and we are very happy to have Aruwa as our partners in that journey,” he said.