The Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) has approved the acquisition of a 30 percent minority stake in retail chain Naivas by French private equity fund Amethis Finance.
“The Competition Authority has authorised the proposed transaction as set out herein on condition that the merged entity to honour all the current contracts with suppliers for the duration of those contracts,” said CAK in a gazette notice on Friday.
“The merged entity to ensure that prior to the implementation of the proposed transaction, all the reconciled and agreed outstanding debts owed to its suppliers are paid to the extent permitted by the contracts entered into between the parties.”
It is expected that the deal will help Amethis gain a foothold in the country’s retail market as well as expand to the East African region.
“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”, said David Kimani, Managing Director of Naivas in a statement issued Wednesday. He further added, “Amethis has a strong track record investing across Africa and in Kenya, which will add value to our operations.”
Jean-Sebastien Bergasse, Partner at Amethis, declared: “In a Kenyan retail landscape where many competitors from abroad are settling in, we are proud to support a very successful Kenyan business who understand the better the Kenyan consumer. We look forward to working jointly with the shareholders and management team to further expand the business’ operations and store network and keeping at the same time a strong Kenyan identity.
According to Amethis Finance, this is the fourth of Amethis Fund II, and it will support the strategy implemented by the family-owned retail chain and the management team towards the emergence of a national leader in the retail sector.
Naivas aims at continuously improving its supply chain, developing its private label segment and strengthening relationships with suppliers. The group will then be able to consolidate its position and to further expand with new openings in the country.
Naivas is the leading mass distributer in Kenya with a 60 stores’ network throughout the country.