A principal investor in emerging and frontier markets, Duet Private Equity Limited (DPEL), formally announced recently that it had acquired a majority stake in AJEAST Nigeria Limited (AJEAST, also known as the Company).
AJEAST is the sub-Saharan Africa subsidiary of AJE Group, globally one of the largest multinational non-alcoholic beverage manufacturers.
The company was officially launched in Nigeria in September 2015, with a brand new state-of–the-art factory near Lagos.
With brands such as Big Cola, Big Orange, Big Lime and Big Volt, it gained significant market share in the carbonated beverage segment through time-tested marketing strategies and a strong value proposition.
AJEAST’s entrance into the Nigerian soft-drink sector is a game-changer in the industry.
This is by offering the consumer more value for less, changing the perception consumers had of carbonated soft drinks.
A multiple-award winner over the years, AJEAST Nigeria Limited engaged in projects and events designed to ignite the Spirit of Enterprise, Innovation, Creativity, Service, Excellence and designed to stimulate economic growth in Nigeria and Africa as a whole
DPEL is investing over $ 50m into the transaction, a significant share of which is allocated as growth capital.
Proceeds of the investment will be used to accelerate in select international territories, facilitate the launch of new products and brands, and increase our production capacity and volume.
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 sixth investment in the FMCG sector in Sub Sahara Africa, and its first 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 catalysing 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.”
Applauding the new partnership, Angel Añaños, Chairman of AJE Group, said 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.”
The company, he added, intends to accelerate into the next phase of growth in Africa and was seeking a partner that has the local platform and sector expertise to support its ambitions.