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Naivas confirms stake sale to French PE firm as it eyes growth

Naivas Capital Centre outlet
A section of the Naivas Capital Centre outlet. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NMG 

Local retailer Naivas Supermarket has confirmed it is selling a minority stake to a France-based private equity (PE) fund, Amethis Finance, in a deal that is set to further professionalise the operations of the family-owned business and expand its network.

Naivas Monday announced the signing of the agreement with Amethis Fund II, the PE fund’s investment vehicle, while stating that the parties were awaiting necessary regulatory approval to proceed with the transaction.

“We are very excited about this partnership. As we embark on our next phase of growth, having an experienced investor with us will further strengthen the business,” Naivas’ managing director David Kimani said in a statement.

“Amethis has a strong track record investing across Africa including Kenya, which will add value to our operations.”

Naivas, which has 60 branches across the country said it will use Amethis experience and expertise to further expand its reach.

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The parties declined to disclose the value and other terms of the deal. Sources, however, say Amethis is set to acquire a 30 percent stake in the retailer.

Historical data shows that the fund typically invests between Sh1.1 billion and Sh4.4 billion (10 million to 40 million euros) or more in target firms through co-investments.

“In a Kenyan retail landscape where many competitors from abroad are settling in, we are proud to support a very successful Kenyan business that has a strong understanding of the Kenyan consumer,” Jean-Sebastien Bergasse, a partner at Amethis, said in the statement.

“We look forward to working jointly with the shareholders and management team to further expand the business’ operations and store network, while retaining a strong Kenyan identity.”

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