The Abraaj Group to Acquire Java House, Africa’s Leading Coffee Chain

The Abraaj Group has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Java House Group, from private equity firm, Emerging Capital Partners.

Java House was established in Nairobi, Kenya, in 1999 by Kevin Ashley. In 2012, Washington, DC-based Emerging Capital Partners (ECP) acquired a majority stake in Java House, with the founder retaining a minority stake. ECP has helped Java House grow from 13 shops in Nairobi into East Africa’s largest coffee-led, all-day casual dining brand, building an ‘eat-out’ culture. Today, it has a regional footprint of 60 stores across 10 cities in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. Java House Group has three flagship brands: Java House; Planet Yogurt, the region’s first self-service frozen yogurt chain; and 360 Degrees Artisan Pizza, an upmarket Italian pizzeria concept.

Java House also operates commercial coffee roasteries, providing quality coffee and bean sales to its own stores and to supermarkets, hotels, restaurants and wholesale buyers. Java House currently serves over 320,000 guest checks per month, offering food and drinks covering 25 different food categories, and employs 2000 people.

Dubai, UAE-based Abraaj, which already has approximately USD $3.2 billion worth of holdings throughout the continent, plans to leverage Java House’s market leadership position to grow the company into the leading pan-African casual dining/food services concept, by expanding into new markets across East, West and North Africa, and through acquisitions.

“As Java House aims to accelerate into its next phase of growth, we were seeking a partner that has the scale, platform and sector expertise to enable us to achieve our aspirations. The Abraaj Group is that partner of choice and we look forward to working closely with their team to extend our market leadership position across the continent,” says Ken Kuguru, CEO of Java House. “Java House has had an extraordinary journey since its founding in 1999 and we are passionate about creating unique and innovative experiences for our customers everywhere. Emerging Capital Partners has been a critical catalyst in our growth story and we extend them our sincere thanks as we look ahead to an exciting future with our new partner.”

Mustafa Abdel-Wadood, managing partner and global head of private equity at The Abraaj Group, says, “This landmark transaction, which showcases our ability to source outstanding assets across our target markets, is a compelling opportunity to build on Java House’s success story across sub-Saharan Africa, to create a true regional champion. Africa’s rapidly expanding middle class, sustained population growth and increasing urbanization is creating compelling investment opportunities in multiple sectors, and we believe Java House is ideally positioned to benefit from these trends.”

The transaction will close once customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals are obtained.

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