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Companies

Regulator approves US fund buyout of Kenya-based ArtCaffé

CAK director-general Wang’ombe Kariuki. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) has given ArtCaffé Group, owned by US private equity fund Emerging Capital Partners (ECP), the green light to acquire all shares of high-end eatery ArtCaffé Coffee And Bakery Limited.

The notice from the regulator comes just weeks after the PE fund said it had acquired a majority stake in Artcaffé Group for an undisclosed amount.

“It is notified for general information that the Competition Authority of Kenya has authorised the proposed acquisition of 100 per cent of the shares of ArtCaffé Coffee and Bakery Limited by ArtCaffé Group,” said CAK director-general Wang’ombe Kariuki.

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ArtCaffé Group now has in its stable several eatery brands that include Urban Gourmet Burgers, Tapas Ceviche bar at Westgate Mall and Oh Cha Noodle Bar, an Asian restaurant with two outlets at Westgate and the Village Market.

ECP, which in 2017 sold its stake in another Kenyan coffee chain, Java House, to Dubai-based private equity firm Abraaj Group, last December said the ArtCaffé deal was informed by the huge demand for the fast-expanding coffee house culture in the region.

The ECP deal whose value was undisclosed was estimated by insiders to be worth about Sh3.5 billion.

Artcaffé, started in 2008, says it currently operates 20 full-service bakeries, coffee shop, bar and casual dining restaurant outlets in Nairobi.

“There is an immense opportunity in eastern Africa for casual dining concepts. Alongside population growth and increased urbanisation, demand for international cuisine and casual, high-quality dining experiences is rising,” ECP said in a statement at the time.

Following the deal, ECP managing director Paul Maasdorp said Artcaffé would embark on a fresh round of expansion.



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