By Shadrack Nyakoe
IBL Group, the largest conglomerate in Mauritius, is the lead investor of a consortium that has signed an agreement to acquire a significant minority stake in Naivas International (Mauritius), with private equity firm Amethis exiting its investment.
Naivas International owns 100% of the shares of Naivas Limited, a leading supermarket chain in Kenya. IBL’s partners in the consortium are Proparco, a subsidiary of Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and DEG, a subsidiary of German KfW Group.
This agreement is subject to regulatory approvals. The investment in Naivas International is the biggest investment in IBL’s history.
IBL also has significant expertise in the retail sector, operating the leading supermarket chain in Mauritius, Winners.
“This is an exciting partnership by our shareholders that will drive us to the next phase of growth. We appreciate the immense knowledge and capacity in the retail industry that IBL brings to the table”, said David Kimani, Managing Director of Naivas.
He further added, “This transaction is testament to the hard work by Naivas’ management and shareholders of having put in place strong governance and controls, enabling the business to grow sustainably to become one of the leading retailers in the region.”
“I am proud that our partnership with the shareholders of Naivas International marks IBL Group’s first investment as part of our expansion in East Africa. This is a symbolic move for us. This family business created in 1990 is an example of success story that has continued to grow despite the pandemic thanks to its strong business model. With 84 outlets in 20 cities and towns across Kenya, it has put modern grocery retail within everyone’s reach. Naivas also contributes to the Kenyan economy, notably by employing over 8,000 people. IBL Group has expertise in the retail sector with our chain supermarket Winners – a flagship of the Mauritian economy.” said Arnaud Lagesse, IBL Group CEO.
Andreas von Paleske, Head of Strategy at Naivas commented, “Amethis invested in Naivas International in 2020, and their strength in partnering with family-owned businesses has led to a demonstrable step-up in governance and growth. Amethis sale of its stake in Naivas International represents the successful culmination of their partnership with the business. We are now thrilled to embark on the next phase this journey and welcome an exciting partnership with IBL.”
Frank-Astère Ndiyo Butoyi, Investment Director at Amethis, added “We are proud to have been in the Kenyan retail landscape and supported a very successful Kenyan business who understands best the Kenyan consumer. As we exit our investment, we wish IBL and the Naivas International team the best for the future.”