Kenyan family enterprises turn to PE funding

Family businesses bringing in private equity funders are doing this to build businesses for the future. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

More local family businesses are considering taking up private equity funding as a majority move away from relying on internal resources and commercial bank loans to bankroll operations, a survey by financial services firm PwC shows.

The research released on Thursday indicates that 59 percent of local family businesses would consider bringing in private equity investment, which is much higher than the global average of 39 percent. This indicates a growing appetite for external capital in these entities that have in the past shied away from external influence.

The audit firm said that focus on long-term value generation, succession and professionalisation of family businesses are the key drivers for families seeking external funding.

“It is not just about capital but about bringing in governance structures and forward-looking perspective for the business. Family businesses bringing in private equity funders are doing this to build businesses for the future,” said Michael Mugasa, Partner and Leader, PwC Kenya.

“Trends show that in Kenya there is a lot of interest in the retail and manufacturing sector.”



The findings come in the wake of several buyouts of family-owned businesses as the entities sought more funding for expansion.

For instance, PE firm Adenia Partners last year acquired a controlling stake in local retailer Tumaini supermarkets with plans to see it become the leading retailer in the region.

In late 2018, Dutch family-backed DOB Equity acquired an undisclosed stake in the privately run Kenya’s Coconut Holdings.

About 30 percent of the firms said they would consider raising cash internally with the same fraction mulling listing on the Nairobi Securities Exchange.