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UAE’s Abraaj to fully acquire African coffee chain Java House

UAE’s Abraaj to fully acquire African coffee chain Java House

The acquisition was made from private equity firm Emerging Capital Partners

UAE-based investment company Abraaj Group announced an agreement to purchase 100 per cent of East African coffee chain Java House Group from private equity firm Emerging Capital Partners (ECP).

The value of the transaction was not disclosed.

Abraaj plans to expand Java House, a coffee-led casual dining chain, across Africa. The company also seeks to expand it into new markets through further acquisitions.

Managing partner and global head of private equity at Abraaj, Mustafa Abdel-Wadood, referred to the transaction as “landmark” and a “compelling opportunity”.

“Africa’s rapidly expanding middle class, sustained population growth and increasing urbanieation is creating compelling investment opportunities in multiple sectors, and we believe Java House is ideally positioned to benefit from these trends,” added Abdel-Wadood.

Java House was established in 1999 with 13 shops in Kenya, and expanded to 60 outlets across Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda after it was majority-acquired by ECP in 2012. Java’s founder Kevin Ashley retained a minority stake.

Java House CEO Ken Kuguru said ECP has been a “critical catalyst” in growing the company to what it is today.

Presently, Java House has three flagship brands: Java House, a coffee-led all-day casual dining concept; Planet Yoghurt, a self-service frozen yoghurt chain; and 360 Degrees Artisan Pizza, an upscale Italian pizzeria.

The transaction will be finalised once customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals are obtained, Abraaj said.

The investment company is currently growing its presence in Africa, and has so far undertaken 80 transactions worth roughly $3.2bn in the region.

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