Dubai-based private equity firm The Abraaj Group on Wednesday said it acquired a majority stake in South African food company Liberty Star Consumer Holdings to tap the rapidly growing consumer market across the African continent.
Established in 2005, Libstar prepares and sells products including cheeses, sauces, baking aids, herbs and spices. The company employs around 4,200 people.
Abraaj, which worldwide manages around $7.5 billion in assets, said South Africa’s grocery retail and food services markets are set to grow at annual rates of 7% and 9.5%, respectively, through to 2018. The Dubai buyout fund said it plans to back Libstar’s strategy to expand in South Africa and in sub-Saharan Africa.
“The market opportunity for food and other consumer staples in Africa promises huge potential for growth, driven by rapidly changing trends in consumer tastes and demand,” said Sandeep Khanna, managing director at Abraaj.
Abraaj has been increasingly active in Africa. Last year, together with France’s Danone, it bought a West African dairy producer. It also acquired a stake in a Ghanaian mortgage firm.
Abraaj completed the buyout of Libstar from its existing shareholders, including Metier, Old Mutual Private Equity, Development Partners International and Lereko. It didn’t disclose a purchase price. Source: Wall Street Journal