Actis, the global pan-emerging markets private equity firm, announced last Monday that it has invested US$102 million in Edita Food Industries, the largest independent snack foods business in Egypt and North Africa.
Edita, which is also the largest independent snack food business in North Africa, sells around 2.5 billion pieces of croissants, cakes and wafers, a year, with an average price point of around of 0.7 Egyptian Pounds. Edita is the market leader in its core categories; its suite of products includes blockbuster brands like Molto, Todo, Bake Rolz, Twinkies, and Hohos.
For Actis this investment builds on its prior successes in the North African Food Sector, which is a key area in Actis’s global consumer sector strategy.
The Egyptian snack food market is growing rapidly, despite the macroeconomic repercussions of the Arab Spring. Edita’s revenues have grown at a compound rate of 21% per annum since 2009. With a young and growing population, rising middle class and changing lifestyles, snack food in Egypt is a high growth sector as consumers tastes grow more sophisticated, and they move away from loose to packaged, and from unbranded to branded snacks foods.
Commenting on the investment Sherif Elkholy, Actis Director in Cairo said:
‘We are delighted to be investing in such a high quality Egyptian business making this our fourth investment in the North African food sector. With Edita, we see a lot of potential to grow the business, extending the product range, and pursuing other growth avenues including acquisitions and regional expansions. Snack food as a sector epitomises Actis’s investment thesis: a popular, high growth sector that sits at the heart of the entry level consumer’s quest for quality.
Under Mr. Hani Berzi’s leadership the company continues to thrive with its recent acquisition of iconic brands and ambitious plans to expand the business. We are confident that our partnership will be a great success. Our investment in Edita re-iterates our 11 year commitment to Egypt and North Africa and our belief in the region’s long-term fundamentals.”
Speaking for Edita Mr. Hani Berzi, Chairman and CEO of Edita said:
‘‘We are delighted to welcome Actis on board as our new partner in Edita. Whilst we have received numerous approaches from interested parties, we have decided to choose Actis due to their differentiated approach, their pan-emerging markets consumer sector expertise, and their proven commitment to conclude investments throughout cycles and despite geopolitical disturbances. Through our partnership with Actis, we look forward to continued growth and development at Edita and we are very confident that the next chapter in Edita’s journey will be a very successful one.”