Abacus Emerging Markets, the Anglo-Australian specialist investment bank, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Uzbek Poultry Association to develop and promote investment into the poultry sector of Uzbekistan.
The association of 600 members, also know as Parrandasanoat, is backed by the government of Uzbekistan.
The MOU will work to develop a range of opportunities along the value chain which will involve forming joint ventures between local and international players, bringing new technology to the country and diversifying poultry sources for local producers.
“The high-level aim is to become self-sufficient in poultry and become an exporter of chicken,” said Torsten Böhler, managing director, Abacus EM. “Parrandasanoat has historically only had limited international exposure so they need a partner to help with that.”
Abacus has already started having early conversations with potential investors including a frontier investor, historically associated with developing markets and comfortable with the risks involved.
“Other investment could come from technology providers that want to enter a new market or an overseas producer forms a joint venture with a local firm,” said Böhler. “There are numerous projects to be involved in.”
The private equity industry is another potential candidate for the initiative which looks likely with the high level of private investment activity in the poultry sector globally in recent months. In August private equity giant KKR made a $400 million investment into Chinese chicken meat producer Fujian Sunner Development, TPG’s sold poultry real estate to real estate investment trust Charter Hall Group, and there was the A$100m ($86 million; €68 million) purchase of six poultry processing assets by RF Capital, the family office of ultra-high net worth Australian Andrew Roberts, both in November.
Much of the appeal is the fact that chicken meat is fast becoming the main source of protein for many emerging markets.
“Uzbekistan is committed to strengthening its local market position and becoming a leading regional exporter of poultry products, creating new employment opportunities in the production, processing and sales sectors,” said Akmaljon Isabaev, chairman of Parrandasanoat.
“Increasing productivity and adopting modern technology are national priorities for poultry farming development,” added Otabek Akbarov, Ambassador of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the United Kingdom. “The Memorandum signed between Parrandasanoat and Abacus EM in London demonstrates the two sides’ strong interest for partnership to increase poultry production and export. I am delighted to have helped bring Abacus EM and Parrandasanoat together on this truly important national initiative.”