Fast-growing premium alcoholic beverage business Kensington Distillers & Vintners has secured a key step in its vision of becoming a leading pan-African consumer goods business with today’s investment by Tana Africa Capital, an Africa-focused private equity company.
KDV Holdings owns majority stakes in Truman & Orange South Africa, Monument Distillers East Africa (Kenya) and Monument Distillers Nigeria and has plans to add additional high growth African markets to its portfolio over the next two years, as part of its vision to establish its brands in all the key African drinks markets.
Tana, as an active and long-term investor, aims to build strong African companies and recognises KDV as a business with exceptional growth potential, says Mark Tindall, Managing Director at Tana: “We are very excited to partner with the founders and management team at KDV to build an exceptional Africa-focused spirits business which makes aspirational, high- quality products available to a large group of potential consumers. KDV has great founding partners, an experienced management team, strong growth prospects and an exciting future ahead.’’
Key to KDV’s success has been offering high-quality wine and spirit brands at accessible price points and by a successful focus on a selection of premium categories with their portfolio of international brands.
Started in 2014 by Owen Gibbs (ex Deutsche Bank, Glencore) and Rowan Leibbrandt (William Grant & Sons, Pernod Ricard), the team was joined shortly after launch by SAB veteran Mark Bowman.
Bowman says: “As KDV grows its footprint across Africa we are delighted that an investment firm with the reputation of Tana has recognised the value that we know exists in our premium African spirits proposition. We are looking forward to working together to accelerate our growth over the next few years.”
In a short period of time, the company has built a strong network in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya and acquired iconic brands in each region: Nigerian bitters brand Rootz 1960 and its associated manufacturing facility from ABI/SAB; Bertram’s Brandy, Lupini Sambuca, Cape Velvet Cream Liqueur, Montego and Squadron Rums in South Africa from Diageo; and become the distributor for Van Loveren’s Four Cousins range of wine in Kenya and Nigeria.
Tana’s investment is intended to help KDV achieve its vision of becoming a formidable pan-African drinks business, by scaling its business in its core markets, establishing a new presence in other high growth African markets such as Mozambique, Tanzania, Ghana, Angola, Congo and Zambia and supporting future potential growth acquisitions.
Leibbrandt comments: “We have an ambitious vision to build an Africa-focussed drinks business, committed to catering to the continent’s increasingly wealthy, urban, drinkers – and we’re delighted to have found a partner who is as excited by this opportunity as we are.”
“We pride ourselves on the exceptional craftsmanship that goes into each bottle we make. We sell premium brands at accessible price points – and regardless of the price, all our brands are authentic, made with a tremendous amount of care, and offer unquestionable quality. Tana’s investment will help us accelerate our brands’ growth, and enter new African markets, and we’re looking forward to working with their experienced team in the years to come.”
Equipped with Leibbrandt's vision, the industry insights of ex-SABMiller Africa CEO Bowman, and the support of Tana, KDV is set to disrupt the drinks business, as we know it.
Tana Africa Capital is an Africa-focused investment company with US$600 million of capital raised since inception. Tana is owned by the Oppenheimer Family and Temasek Holdings (“Temasek”).
Since its inception in 2011, Tana has invested in a portfolio spanning the FMCG, retail, education and agribusiness sectors with operations in more than 20 countries across the African continent. Tana is managed by a team of 12 investment professionals from offices in Johannesburg, South Africa and Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
Kensington Distillers & Vintners is an alcoholic beverage manufacturing and distribution business founded in 2014 by an experienced team of alcoholic beverage professionals.
Kensington Distillers is engaged in the production, distribution and sale of alcoholic beverages focusing on spirits and wines which includes a portfolio of proprietary brands across Gin, Whisky, Bitters, Sparkling Wine and Rum categories with local manufacturing operations in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria.