Restaurant chain Java House On sale

Restaurant chain Java House has been put on sale by UK-based private equity fund Actis. This comes barely after 3 years after being acquired from a Dubai-based Abraaj Group. However, the amount has not yet been disclosed.

Nonetheless, authorities familiar with the transaction said Actis is looking for a buyer for its 100 percent stake in Java House in what could be another change of ownership at Kenya’s biggest coffee chain.

Additionally, the search for a buyer comes months after Actis inked a deal to buy hotel properties in Kenya and Tanzania and has been on since last year, multiple sources said.

“They are looking to sell Java House by end of this year. Actis are the ones looking for a buyer,” a highly placed source told the Business Daily.

“As for the value of the transaction, the shareholders know the price they want to sell.”

However, John Thompson, a communications director at Actis in London, declined to comment on the financial details of the transaction, terming it market speculation.

According to the business daily, another source said the deal is valued at $40 million (Sh4.9 billion) and that three of the potential buyers had been dropped on grounds that their asking price was below market rates.

Also read Java House picks Priscilla Gathungu as its first Kenyan chief executive

The sale of Java at a time the eatery is experiencing intense competition from the aggressive expansion of ArtCaffe and other homegrown restaurants is expected to cement Kenya’s reputation as a high-return market that offers exit routes for PE funds and development finance institutions (DFIs).

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