KENYA— Britannia Industries, India’s largest bakery firm, has acquired a 51% stake in Kenafric Biscuits, a subsidiary of Kenya-based manufacturing conglomerate Kenafric Group, a move that will help the company set up a manufacturing base and expand sales in the African markets.

In a filing with the Bombay Stock Exchange, Britannia Industries noted the deal was instigated by its subsidiary Britannia and Associates (Dubai) for INR92m (US$1.1m).

Concurrently, in partnership with took full control of Catalyst Capital-backed Britania Foods Ltd., as well as Catalyst Britania Brands Ltd in a US$20 million transaction that also involved acquiring property and a plant.

The Indian food firm, which also supplies bread, cakes, and dairy products, pointed out there is no connection between Britannia and Britania.

“Four years ago, during our centenary celebrations, we reiterated our vision of becoming a Total Global Foods company.

“Our new manufacturing base in Kenya will open doors to tapping into the potential of East Africa, a region that holds immense promise,” said Annu Gupta, CEO of International Business at Britannia

Britannia is a 130-year-old company whose brands include Good Day and Marie Gold cookies in India.

It has been looking to add capacity in Africa, where governments want to expand their industries and reduce imports of products that can be made locally.

The company recently set up contract-packing facilities in Egypt and Uganda, and has been considering ventures in Kenya and Nigeria, Bloomberg reported in March.

“While the world economy is facing a slowdown threat, Africa is poised for long-term growth due to its expanding consumer base and evolving need for high-quality products.

“We believe that with our extensive experience in bakery technology and value-added products, we can make a positive impact in the African market,” highlighted Gupta.

The investment in Britania Foods Limited, formerly known as Jambo Biscuits, is a welcomed move as it had been put under administration in 2021 after defaulting on loans of more than Ksh1.3 billion (US$11m) sourced from suppliers and creditors.

After failure to settle the mounting debt, the company was then put up for sale early this year.

Britania, which started out as a small bakery, has been in operation for 34 years, during which it grew into one of Kenya’s biggest local confectionery brands.

Meanwhile, Kenafric Group was founded in 1987 by the Chedda family and is one of the largest manufacturers of Confectionery, Food, Footwear, and Stationery products in Kenya.

Its food business unit, Kenafric Industries focuses on the production of confectionery, soft beverages, culinary condiments, and biscuits under some of the famous brand names Oyo, Ting Ting, and Fresh, among others.

The company backed by private equity firms Paris-based Amethis and Johannesburg-based Metier, has a presence in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Congo, Burundi, and Malawi. 

Britannia Industries supplies the Indian market and 80 destinations worldwide in North America, Europe, Africa, south-east Asia, and the Middle East.

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