Ethos Private Equity, one of Africa’s largest private equity fund managers, has led a deal to acquire a majority shareholding from the founders of Little Green Beverages in partnership with Nedbank Private Equity and the company’s management. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The acquisition has been made on behalf of Ethos’s sixth fund. Little Green Beverages produces a variety of beverages under the Refreshhh! brand, including carbonated soft drinks, mineral water, energy drinks and mixers. The transaction is the ninth deal for the R8.4 billion fund, and the South African beverage producer joins a portfolio of assets which include Autozone, Twinsaver, Eazi Access and Neopak.
“Under our stewardship, LGB’s business processes, people and brands will receive enhanced focus and investment to further improve products and deliver value to customers and investors,” said Jonathan Matthews, who led the deal for Ethos. “Together with management, Ethos has identified opportunities to grow LGB and unlock further performance, service levels and value.”
While one of the firm’s co-founders, Vimal Gowan, is leaving the company, the other, Lance Sheppard will remain as Commercial Director. A new CEO, Michael Benjamin, who has held several senior roles at SABMiller, has been recruited to lead the firm’s growth strategy.
Webber Wentzel, Bain & Co. and KPMG provided Ethos with advisory services for the deal. Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr provided the sellers with legal services.