Amethis acquires a minority stake in the Naivas group, the Kenyan leading retailer.

27 Feb 2020

Amethis, alongside its partners DEG, MCB Equity Fund and IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is pleased to announce its partnership with Naivas. The transaction marks the acquisition of a minority equity stake into the Naivas Group.

Naivas is the leading mass distributer in Kenya with a 60 stores’ network throughout the country. Thanks to strong fundamentals, the group plans to pursue its expansion strategy nationwide.

Established in 1990 by the Mukuha family, Naivas started as a small family business in the village of Rongai, located on the outskirts of Nakuru town in rural western Kenya. From 2001, the company expanded to Nairobi where it opened its first branch on Ronald Ngala Street. The activity of Naivas then progressively migrated to Nairobi through subsequent openings and opportunistic acquisitions to become today one of the main retailers in Kenya.

This investment, the fourth of Amethis Fund II, will support the strategy implemented by the family and the management team towards the emergence of a national leader in the retail sector. Naivas aims at continuously improving its supply chain, developing its private label segment and strengthening relationships with suppliers. The group will then be able to consolidate its position and to further expand with new openings in the country.

Amethis will be the first external investor outside the family to join the capital of the company.

“We are very excited about this partnership. As we embark on our next phase of growth, having an experienced investor with us will further strengthen the business”, said David Kimani, Managing Director of Naivas. He further added, “Amethis has a strong track record investing across Africa and in Kenya, which will add value to our operations.”

Andreas von Paleske, a Senior Advisor to Naivas, commented, “This transaction is testament to the hard work by Naivas’ management and shareholders of having put in place strong governance and controls, enabling the business to grow sustainably. This transaction will further enhance this.”

Jean-Sebastien Bergasse, Partner at Amethis, declared: “In a Kenyan retail landscape where many competitors from abroad are settling in, we are proud to support a very successful Kenyan business who understand the better the Kenyan consumer. We look forward to working jointly with the shareholders and management team to further expand the business’ operations and store network and keeping at the same time a strong Kenyan identity."

Frank-Astère Ndiyo-Butoyi, Investment Director, Amethis East Africa, added “During this time of transformation in the sector, we are honored to be joining such an iconic Kenyan brand and I am most excited about the future and new milestones we aim to achieve through actively supporting Shareholders and Management. By leveraging our new local office in Nairobi and Amethis’ experience in the African retail sector, we look forward to learning from and working with the many constituents who have built this brand and supporting them on a day to day basis in this new growth phase”

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