$125m private equity fund Catalyst Principal Partners has acquired a 50% stake in Ethiopia’s Yes Brands Food & Beverages PLC, a bottled mineral water company with a dominant brand and market share in the country.
According to Catalyst CEO Paul Kavuma the funds will be used to grow Yes Brands business by enhancing its operational capacity, deepen its distribution channels and improve Yes Brands product innovation.
Yes Brands founder, Alemayehu Nigussie, welcomed Catalyst as a value-add partner saying, “Together with Catalyst, we have embarked on an ambitious growth strategy for Yes Brands. We will continue to build on the success of Yes Brands to ensure wide availability of our products to satisfy the evolving needs of consumers in Ethiopia and across the region.”
According to their release statement, Ethiopia is amongst the best performing economies in the world and the second fastest in Africa, with GDP growth averaging 8-10 per cent over the past 5 years. “With its dynamic economy and population of 85 million, the second largest in Africa, Ethiopia is an attractive market for emerging players within the consumer sector and represents a compelling investment opportunity,” said Catalyst Managing Director, Rajal Upadhyaya.
Ethiopia’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Tadesse Haile, who officiated at the ceremony, hailed Catalyst’s decision to invest in Yes Brands, saying it was a signal of confidence in the country’s economy.
“It is encouraging that significant investments and resources are being directed towards the development of leading Ethiopian products and brands. The expansion of manufacturing capacity within Ethiopia will certainly translate into broader socio-economic benefits.”
Catalyst Principal Partners have also invested in Tanzania’s ChemiCotex Industries Ltd, an oral and personal care products manufacturer and Chai Bora Ltd, Tanzania’s premier tea packaging company.