Duet Private Equity Buys Stake In AJEAST Nigeria
Leading United Kingdom private investment firm, Duet Private Equity Limited (DPEL), has acquired a majority stake worth $50 million in Nigeria’s multinational beverage company, Ajeast Nigeria, which is a subsidiary of AJE Group.
“At Duet, we strongly believe in the African consumer growth story as the number of middle-income households in Nigeria and select West-African markets keeps expanding, and more consumers are entering the formal economy through urbanisation, the demand for products such as BIG Cola will grow exponentially,” Henry Gabay, chief investment officer (CIO) at Duet and Co-Founder at Duet Group said.
AJEAST is a leading multinational non-alcoholic beverage manufacturer, makers of Big Cola, Big Orange, and a host of others. With this new investment, AJEAST will further intensify its focus on targeting a young demography of growing socio-economic segments, capturing both the significant advance of middle-income households, as well as the demographic dividend of the region’s expansive youth base.
This transaction marks DPEL’s 6th investment in the FMCG sector in Sub Sahara Africa, and its 1st in Nigeria. Leveraging on DPEL’s wide experience in the beverage sector in African growth markets, the investment will support AJEAST in further consolidating market share, as well as catalyzing further expansion across the continent.
Henry Gabay, CIO at Duet Private Equity Limited and Co-Founder at Duet Group, said: “At Duet we strongly believe in the African consumer growth story. As the number of middle-income households in Nigeria and select West-African markets keeps expanding, and more consumers are entering the formal economy through urbanisation, the demand for products such as BIG Cola will grow exponentially. The acquisition of AJEAST follows our previous investments in the beverage sector across Africa, and we are excited to be able to leverage our experience in partnership with a prominent multinational like AJE Group.”
Manish Rungta, Managing Director at Duet Private Equity Limited, said: “We are delighted to work together with AJE Group to continue the footprint expansion of brands like BIG Cola in African markets. With its value proposition, AJEAST is uniquely positioned to capture market share in the rapidly expanding segment of affordable, high quality consumer goods. Since entering the West-African market in 2015, the institutional backing of AJE Group has provided the company with strong fundamentals upon which our investment and local knowledge can further drive growth.”
Applauding the new partnership, Angel Añaños, Chairman of AJE Group, commented that “AJE’s history dates to 1988, and through our innovative approach and passion we became a leading player in Latin-American and Asian markets. As AJE intends to accelerate into the next phase of growth in Africa, we were seeking a partner that has the local platform and sector expertise to support our ambitions. With Duet, we have found a partner that shares our commitment to widen our product reach of affordable value beverages to the African consumer. We also believe that Duet is the ideal partner to continue the growth of our brands in such a crucial market. We are confident that our longstanding experience will help replicate the successes we have had in our markets, and look forward to a fruitful partnership with Duet.”
“I am extremely excited about this partnership”, said Theo Williams, Country Managing Director, at AJEAST, “with a like-minded ally such as Duet, we believe we can steer this venture into new heights. We are committed to offering the highest quality products that are a viable alternative at an affordable price. Together we will grow to our full potential, and take up our rightful position as a valued contributor to the beverage industry on the African continent.