Silk Invest buys stake in NAS Foods in Ethiopia

by yeEthiopiaforums

UK-based investment vehicle Silk Invest has purchased a “significant minority stake” in Ethiopian biscuit maker NAS Foods.

The move once again highlights the growing opportunity presented by the rapidly expanding markets in Africa.

Although food groups operating in African countries are faced with challenges – particularly related to infrastructure and transportation – these markets are significant in size and growth continues to be fuelled by population growth and an expanding middle class.

Silk Invest said the injection of capital will be used by NAS to build a more scalable infrastructure for its products and fund product development. The investment is typical of Silk Invest’s strategy, which focuses on identifying local SME players who benefit from a low cost base but require capital to fund expansion and build scale.

Press release
Silk Invest closes Private Equity Investment in Ethiopia
Issued: 19th June 2012

Silk Invest Ltd, a specialist asset management firm regulated by the FSA, announced that it has acquired a significant minority stake in Ethiopian-based biscuit producer NAS Foods Ltd.

The investment will take the form of an equity injection from the Silk African Food Fund, a private equity fund which targets African food and beverages companies, which are focusing on the local African consumer opportunity.

NAS Foods is an Addis based food production company that focuses on biscuit production under the brand name NAS Foods Ltd.. Established in 1999, the investment is expected to help the Company to upgrade and build more scalable infrastructure for its products. The capital will also boost the Company’s plans to develop new product lines.

Waseem Khan, Managing Director of Private Equity, commented that “with strong macroeconomic fundamentals and a dedication to structural reform within the country Ethiopia presents itself as one of the most compelling investment opportunities in Africa. Silk believes this investment reflects the potential of the Ethiopian confectionary sector, which is expected to grow in line with Ethiopia’s anticipated strong GDP growth over the next five years. The Fund’s investment in NAS Foods aligns perfectly with its focus of investing in African companies across the food value chain particularly those servicing the domestic consumer. With robust growth forecast for Ethiopia we anticipate strong internal demand for the Company’s products going forward”.

Patrick Landi, Investment Director, said “NAS has built capacity to take advantage of the growth opportunities that exist within Ethiopia positioning it to become one of the leading food manufacturing companies in the country. With a strong, committed management team NAS is poised to reap the benefits of the dynamics underpinning Ethiopia’s anticipated growth. This investment reflects our commitment to grow the business and create value for the shareholders, clients, employees and other stakeholders of the company. We believe the biscuit market in Ethiopia has significant potential and that the Company’s strong track record attests to its capacity to deliver a credible strategy and capture a large share of the growth opportunities in this sector.

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