Private equity firm Actis exits Egypt’s Edita after four-year partnership

Private equity firm Actis announced Tuesday the sale of its remaining 7.5 percent stake in confectionery maker Edita Food Industries, one of the largest food producers in Egypt.

Actis further said it sold the remaining stake to 42 blue-chip investors from the U.S., the U.K, Germany, South Africa, and the UAE through an “accelerated bookbuild on the Egyptian Stock Exchange.”

In 2013, Actis initially became a 30 percent shareholder, but has now fully sold its shares in Edita with this final sale.

Edita’s chairperson and managing director Hani Berzi commented on the exit saying: “Actis has been a valued partner on Edita’s amazing journey over the last four years.”

“Their sector insights, together with their emerging markets expertise and professionalism, have been of great help to the company and to me personally as chairman and managing director,” Berzi added. “Partnering with Actis has been a pleasure, and on behalf of all of us at Edita, I wish them all the best in their future projects.”

Sherif Elkholy, a partner in Actis and co-head of the North Africa section, said, “While we have successfully exited the investment …, the friendship and spirit of partnership between Actis and Edita will endure, and we will watch with a great sense of pride, as Edita continues to go from strength to strength.”

Since Actis’ investment, the company has launched its new headquarters and logistics hub, almost doubling production capacity with major investments in two new factories and upgrading its ERP system.

Additionally, the management has codified corporate governance standards to international levels.

Actis invested in Edita in the midst of a considerable geopolitical and economic uncertainty in Egypt, the company’s statement added.

Actis had the sector experience and the on-the-ground insight to back Edita’s quality and market position, which would enable it to continue its growth path in spite of the challenging economic backdrop.

Actis shared the management’s vision that the business’s strength would enable it to achieve resilient growth underpinned by the continuing demand for small ticket consumption.

CI Capital and EFG-Hermes advised Actis on the transaction.

Edita was founded in 1996 and is the largest, independent-branded snack food business in North Africa. It produces croissants, cakes, rusks, wafers, and candies.

It is the local leader in Egypt’s snack food sector with a 14 percent market share.

Edita has its own distribution fleet of over 500 vehicles and over 67,000 points of sale across Egypt, served through its 21 distribution centres.

The company also exports to 13 countries in the MENA region.