Abraaj Group, an emerging markets focused fund group, has agreed to buy African coffee chain Java House from private equity rival Emerging Capital Partners and Kevin Ashley, the Nairobi-based company’s executive chairman.
Abraaj has acquired the company for an undisclosed sum following a year-long auction that attracted interest from a wide range of private equity groups. ECP received 12 non-binding bids for the company, which Mr Ashley founded in 1999 in the Kenyan capital.
The competition to buy Java House reflects international private equity firms’ growing interest in east Africa, according to analysts, particularly in the consumer sector. Alex-Handrah Aimé, an ECP managing director, described the return made by the pan-African group on its investment in Java as “good” and “consistent with what we’d expect”. ECP was reported to have sought bids of $100m for Java House.