Catalyst Principal Partners, a leading Eastern Africa focused private equity firm, has completed its first investment under its second fund which achieved its first close of US$103 million last month. Through a newly established firm, Britania Foods Limited, Catalyst has acquired the business and operations of Jambo Biscuits Ltd, being a leading biscuits manufacturer in Kenya with its flagship “Britania” brand.
The Britania brand was established in Kenya over 3 decades ago and has evolved into a leading confectionary player, offering a wide range of quality biscuits, catering to a diversity of consumer segments and tastes, available across an extensive network of informal and modern trade channels nationwide.
Commenting on the acquisition, the CEO of Catalyst Paul Kavuma noted “The Britania brand has a strong heritage across Kenya with well-known products in the market. Our investment was anchored on the innovation platform consistently achieved by the brand within the biscuits category, as well as positive market fundamentals in a sector that is growing faster than GDP, propelled by younger demographics and growing disposable income.”
Catalyst brings to Britania Foods financial backing in form of working capital injection, as well as business strategy support in the institutionalization of the business including the investment in technical capabilities, management change, reinforcement of the distribution network and strengthening of corporate governance. “We have assembled an experienced management team with deep knowledge of the consumer goods sector and with international best practice expertise.” Paul commented.
Robert Kagundah, newly appointed Managing Director of Britania Foods commented: “With a strengthened team and balance sheet, we aim to leverage the company’s deep heritage to expand its capacity and reach, and to diversify its product range to become a leading regional player in fast moving consumer goods.” He further said: “Catalyst has added significant value in the development of a compelling strategy and in the institutionalisation of the company, to position the business for an accelerated growth trajectory. We are already implementing our strategic plans through a significant investment in an upgrade of the factory to ensure consistent product quality while driving innovation within the sector.”
The acquisition is the first investment under Catalyst’s second fund that recently achieved its first close at US$103 million. Catalyst Fund II LP is targeting US$175 million of commitments under management and expects to hold a final close later in the year. Fund II will maintain Catalyst’s successful regional investment strategy focused on mid-market growth capital investments, backing dynamic entrepreneurs and managers within fast growth consumer demand driven sectors across Eastern Africa.
Notes to the Editor
About Catalyst Principal Partners: Catalyst Principal Partners LLC (www.catalystprincipal.com) is a Nairobi based Private Equity firm focusing on investing in high growth mid-sized companies across Eastern Africa. The firm’s sector focus includes consumer goods and retail, financial and business services, healthcare, industrials, manufacturing and value-add processing, technology and telecommunications. Catalyst Fund I ($123m) is fully invested in a regionally diversified portfolio of nine high-growth companies performing in line with the investment strategy. Portfolio companies held include: Chai Bora (Tanzania), ChemiCotex (Tanzania), Effco Solutions (Tanzania), Zenufa Laboratories (Tanzania), Jamii Bora Bank (Kenya), Orbit Chemical Industries (Kenya), Yes Brands (Ethiopia) and Kensta Group (Kenya). In October 2016 Catalyst successfully exited Goodlife Pharmacy.
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Lisa Kimathi | Associate Consultant | africapractice
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