Silk African Food Fund munches into Ethiopian biscuits

The Silk African Food Fund, run by UK regulated specialist asset manager Silk Invest Ltd (www.silkinvest.com), has acquired a significant minority equity stake in NAS Foods Ltd., a biscuit maker in Ethiopia. The private equity fund, launched in 2010, targets African food and beverages companies, based on growth expectations for African consumer markets.

NAS Foods was established in 1999 in Addis Abeba. Silk’s injection of capital is to help the Company to upgrade and build more infrastructure for its products and to boost the Company’s plans to develop new product lines.

Waseem Khan, Managing Director of Private Equity, commented in a press release: “With strong macroeconomic fundamentals and a dedication to structural reform within the country Ethiopia presents itself as one of the most compelling investment opportunities in Africa. Silk believes this investment reflects the potential of the Ethiopian confectionary sector, which is expected to grow in line with Ethiopia’s anticipated strong GDP growth over the next 5 years. The fund’s investment in NAS Foods aligns perfectly with its focus of investing in African companies across the food value chain, particularly those servicing the domestic consumer. With robust growth forecast for Ethiopia we anticipate strong internal demand for the company’s products going forward”.

Patrick Landi, Investment Director, said: “NAS has built capacity to take advantage of the growth opportunities that exist within Ethiopia, positioning it to become one of the leading food manufacturing companies in the country. With a strong, committed management team NAS is poised to reap the benefits of the dynamics underpinning Ethiopia’s anticipated growth. This investment reflects our commitment to grow the business and create value for the shareholders, clients, employees and other stakeholders of the company. We believe the biscuit market in Ethiopia has significant potential and that the Company’s strong track record attests to its capacity to deliver a credible strategy and capture a large share of the growth opportunities in this sector.”

CDC (www.cdcgroup.com) is a leading investor into a $100m private equity fund created for Ethiopia by Schulze Global Investments (www.schulzeglobal.com).

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