Ethiopian biscuit producer Ahadukes secures backing from PE firm Zoscales Partners

ETHIOPIA – Ahadukes Food Products, producer of mainstream and premium biscuits for the Ethiopian domestic and export markets, has secured an investment from Zoscales Partners (ZP), a private equity firm with impact in East Africa through its maiden fund “Zoscales Fund I”.

The Ethiopian biscuit producer Ahadukes commissioned its first 50 MT/per day production line in May 2015 in the city of Bishoftu. Its range of branded biscuits includes Marie Gold, Ginger Crunch, Tiger Creams, among others.

ZP will partner with the management and current shareholders of Ahadukes to drive scale initiatives, help the company become East Africa’s leading biscuit producer and create up to 150 new jobs.

“Besides increasing production lines, ZP’s investment will fund milling and silo to stabilize the impact of seasonality of raw materials and manage costs.”

“ZP will also help prepare Ahadukes for exports while improving local distribution,” said Chairman of the Ahadu Group, Solomon Wondimneh.

Ahadukes Food Products S.C. was founded by Ahadu PLC, an Ethiopian conglomerate company mainly engaged in value adding and development-oriented sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture, health care and food processing.

In 2013, Vasari Global, a UK based investment group, joined Ahadukes. Vasari is a leading consumer focused investment group focusing on the manufacturing of branded goods across Europe, Asia and Africa.

The demand-supply gap of biscuits and other processed foods is continuously growing in Ethiopia as a result of a rapidly growing young population.

Ashenafi Alemu, the partner who led the deal for the East African private equity firm said, “Despite the unmet demand for biscuits and other processed foods, Ethiopia does not have many world-class food production facilities that can bring economies of scale to both production and distribution.”

“The scaling potential of Ahadukes’ state-of-the-art production facility was a very attractive feature for us. Our choice of Ahadukes was strongly driven by the quality of the promoters and the firm’s capable management team and we look forward to working with them,” he added.

Zoscales launched its first US$75m private equity fund, Zoscales Fund I, in the beginning of 2018 and has deployed over 50% of the capital in the fund across 4 investments. In 2020 it will launch its second fund.

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