Companies

Java mulls listing on the Nairobi bourse

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Java House along Kimathi Street on July 11, 2023. PHOTO | LUCY WANJIRU | NMG

Quick service restaurant Java Coffee House says it will work towards getting ready for a potential listing on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) should shareholders deem this to be a viable route for the company’s future growth.

Java is set to change ownership again following the announcement by London-based investment firm, Actis, that it will be divesting from the business, four years after it acquired the venture from Dubai-based private equity fund, Abraaj Group.

Read: Java House appoints first Kenyan CEO

Prior to this, Java was owned by another private equity fund, Emerging Capital Partners.

“The opportunity in the public markets still exists for us. As management, at the end of the day, it’s to make the business ready for that and prepare the business for such a day and we are sure that day is coming, it’s just a matter of when. When the shareholders decide that an IPO is the way to go, we will be ready for it,” Java Coffee House Chief Finance Officer, Orge Godana, says.

The restaurant is now looking to resume aggressive expansion of restaurants after its online and delivery sales moderated to 10.0 percent of total turnover in the year June 2023, down from the above 20.0 percent peak reported at the height of Covid-19 pandemic in 2021.

Java has 86 restaurants across the country and is soon expected to be opening its first store in Meru County in the coming months on the back of record sales reported in the 12 months ended June 2023.

The management says it has identified new sites for further expansion across East Africa.

Also read: Why successful restaurants fold

“We already exist in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda and we are looking to expand in these markets significantly. In the pre-2019 period online and delivery sales were not a significant part of our business but this has now grown."

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