The Abraaj Group has entered an agreement to acquire East Africa’s leading coffee-led, all-day casual dining chain, Java House.
The emerging markets investor based in Dubai will buy 100 per cent of Java House from private equity firm Emerging Capital Partners (ECP) and the company’s founder and chairman Kevin Ashley.
“This landmark transaction, which showcases our ability to source outstanding assets across our target markets, is a compelling opportunity to build on Java House’s success story across sub-Saharan Africa, to create a true regional champion. Africa’s rapidly expanding middle class, sustained population growth and increasing urbanization is creating compelling investment opportunities in multiple sectors, and we believe Java House is ideally positioned to benefit from these trends,” said Mustafa Abdel-Wadood, Managing Partner and Global Head of Private Equity at The Abraaj Group.
Java House Group was established in 1999 by Ashley and has grown from 13 outlets in Nairobi to 60 outlets across 10 cities in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda following ECP’s entry as a majority partner in 2012.
Emerging Capita Partners is a dedicated Africa growth investor with teams focused on originating unique opportunities by living and working in the markets they serve, their hands-on approach helping entrepreneurs to grow companies that are attractive to acquirers who look for companies with both strong financial performance and international best practice standards in all measures.
ECP Founding Partner and head of the pan-African firm’s Nairobi Office Bryce Fort noted that Abraaj is taking over Java at an exciting time in its growth trajectory with enormous potential to further expand a successful formula continentally.
The Group has three flagship brands: Java House; East Africa’s first self-service frozen yogurt chain, Planet Yogurt; and 360 Degrees Artisan Pizza, an upmarket Italian pizzeria concept.
Java House also operates commercial coffee roasteries that provide quality coffee and bean sales to its own stores and to supermarkets, hotels, restaurants and wholesale buyers. It serves more than 320, 000 guest checks monthly, offering 25 different food and drinks categories and employs 2, 000 people.
Ken Kuguru, Chief Executive Officer of Java House said, “As Java House aims to accelerate into its next phase of growth, we were seeking a partner that has the scale, platform and sector expertise to enable us to achieve our aspirations. The Abraaj Group is that partner of choice and we look forward to working closely with their team to extend our market leadership position across the continent.”
Abraaj will partner with the company’s management team to leverage Java House’s market leadership position and strong heritage to build a leading home-grown African casual dining and food service group across East, West and North Africa.
The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals.