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Catalyst Principal Partners buys Kenya’s Jambo biscuits

Nairobi-based private equity firm Catalyst Principal Partners has completed the first investment for its second fund by acquiring Jambo Biscuits from the Dawda family. The transaction is being executed via a newly-formed company, Britania Foods, whose name is derived from Jambo’s flagship biscuit brand, Britania.

The investment provides Britania Foods with an injection of working capital, but Catalyst plans to support the portfolio company strategically, improving its technical capabilities, management, corporate governance and reinforcing the company’s distribution network. As part of the deal, Catalyst has appointed Robert Kagundah, an experienced executive whose worked in multiple African markets managing regional FMCG businesses, including The Coca-Cola Company.

Commenting on the deal, Kagundah said “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.”

“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,” he continued. “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.”

Catalyst Principal’s CEO, Paul Kavuma led the transaction for Catalyst Fund II. The fund, which is targeting a final close of $175 million, held its first close in early April, landing $103 million in commitments from a mix of Africa-focused fund-of-funds, development finance institutions and regional family offices.  At the time, Africa Capital Digest reported that typical deal sizes were expected to range in the $7.5 million to $25 million range for the 10-year closed end fund, which has a five-year investment period and is targeting an IRR of 25%.

Bowmans provided Catalyst with legal advisory services on the deal, with Deloitte providing the private equity firm with financial and tax advice for the transaction.

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