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French Private Equity Firm Amethis Finance together with its partners have acquired a 40 per cent stake in East African packaged food business Kenafric Industries.


Kenafric Group was founded in 1987 by Velji Punja Shah and his four sons and has grown to emerge as a major FMCG group in East Africa, having diversified into confectionery, footwear, culinary and stationery manufacturing.


“This transaction is limited to the confectionery and culinary business and the Shah family will continue to operate the footwear and stationery business separately.” said Amethis Finance in a statement sent to Kenyan Wall street.


Kenafric sells around 45 per cent of its production outside Kenya having reached a critical size and now intends to expand into a regional packaged food platform.

“The fragmented East African market offers an opportunity for acquisitions and strategic partnerships. The stated aim is to be able to supply the entire range of snacking products in a kiosk through adjacencies and brand extensions. Kenafric, Amethis and Metier have been working together on an acquisitions pipeline.” added Amethis which began its activities in December 2012 and has since raised over USD 500 million in investment capacity entirely dedicated to long-term responsible financing in Africa.


“Having built a trustworthy relationship with Kenafric’s management over the past years, we are excited about this partnership which will allow Kenafric to leverage on its strong existing base to expand into a diversified packaged food platform in East Africa. Thanks to this partnership, Kenafric is now poised to engage into a new phase of its history,” says Jean-Sebastien Bergasse, the Amethis partner in charge of the project.


The Shah family is bringing along external partners to the family business for the first time, with the ambition to institutionalise the business and achieve its vision.


“We are excited about the partnership with Amethis and Metier. Through this investment, we will seek to leverage the deep relationships that they enjoy in the region, operational support and a strong capital base to accelerate future growth,” says Bharat Shah, chairman at Kenafric.


BellHouse Capital, Pratul Shah and Bowmans Law acted as the company’s transaction advisers while Anjarwala & Khanna and KPMG represented the investors.


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