In 2003 Synapp International Ltd purchased Country Bird (Pty) Ltd from Senwes. At the time this small operation was based in Tigane and Botshebelo and it’s brand was Supreme. Over the next two years the poultry cycle underwent an upswing, which enabled Synapp to procure the assets of Agri Chicks. During that time Senwes Voere came onto the market and Synapp took the opportunity to add this feed milling business to its portfolio.
Following a period of growth in South Africa and the prospect of new opportunities in other parts of Africa, Synapp decided to list the company on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). The assets were consolidated into a single entity and Country Bird Holdings (CBH) was hatched. The company was successfully listed on the JSE during 2007. The poultry division of CBH was then renamed Supreme Poultry (Pty) Ltd, whilst the animal feeds division became Nutri Feeds. The listing also included a breeding operation in Zambia, which had been owned by Synapp for 15 years, as well as a 60% share in a breeding operation in Botswana, which it had acquired some five years earlier.
The South African milling partner was bought out in 2009, thereby giving CBH 100% ownership of Nutri Feeds. The same year CBH acquired an animal feed milling operation in Gaborone, along with a small broiler farm and abattoir in Francistown, which added to their presence in Botswana. These operations were refurbished and expanded, and a second hatchery was later built in Francistown to accommodate regional demand.
During 2010 CBH decided to enter the animal feed business in Zambia and a Nutri Feeds mill was built just outside Lusaka. This mill would go on to supply the breeding and broiler operations in that country as well as outside customers. 2011 saw CBH finalise a convertible loan with the IFC (International Finance Corporation) to enable further upgrades to some of its existing operations in Africa, as well as to fund new ventures. In 2014 Black River Food Fund (now Proterra Investments) became a shareholder and development partner, and CBH successfully delisted from the JSE. This paved the way for continued growth into Africa, and confidence in CBH’s potential was recognised by the IFC who went on to convert their loan into CBH shares the following year.
A new commercial hatchery was built just outside Lusaka in 2015 thereby adding 40% additional capacity to the day-old chick operation in Zambia. The same year a virgin piece of land was acquired in Mazabuka and a new grandparent operation with a hatchery was successfully built and commissioned in December 2015. In parallel, CBH established Africa Chicks – a hatchery operation in Swaziland supplying the local market as well as a good export customer base in southern Mozambique.
With strong support from the Mozambique government, CBH and business partners successfully acquired a local flour and maize mill, which was then refurbished and commissioned during 2015. This operation is known as Escolha Do Povo. Soon after, CBH set their sights on Nigeria and acquired a majority stake in a small operation in Kwara State known as Valentine Chickens in 2015. After CBH invested in upgrades, the facilities included a state-of-the-ort hatchery, new broiler and breeder houses, and a refurbished abattoir. In 2015, CBH identified an opportunity in the DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo) to produce table eggs. A suitable local partner was brought on board and the new operation, CongOeufs, was founded in the city of Lubumbashi in 2015. This has subsequently been sold.
CBH has come a long way over the past 13 years and continues to grow from strength to strength.
Our achievements demonstrate a strong understanding of the sector, intuition, tenacity and sustained effort based on solid strategy.