KENYA – Java House Africa, a popular quick-service restaurant chain, is exploring the possibility of listing on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) as part of its future growth strategy.
The move comes in the wake of an impending change in ownership, with London-based investment firm Actis announcing its divestment from the business.
Actis acquired Java Coffee House four years ago from the Dubai-based private equity fund, Abraaj Group. Before that, the restaurant chain was owned by Emerging Capital Partners, another private equity fund.
Java Coffee House’s Chief Finance Officer, Orge Godana, emphasized the company’s readiness for a public listing, stating that the opportunity in the public markets still exists for the company.
“As management, at the end of the day, it’s to make the business ready for that and prepare the business for such a day, and we are sure that day is coming, it’s just a matter of when,” he noted.
“When the shareholders decide that an IPO is the way to go, we will be ready for it.”
Meanwhile, the restaurant chain is now gearing up for an aggressive expansion of its restaurants after experiencing a decrease in online and delivery sales, which accounted for 10.0 percent of total turnover in the year ending June 2023.
This decline was noted compared to the peak of over 20.0 percent reported during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2021.
Currently, Java Coffee House operates 86 restaurants across the country, and it is on the verge of opening its first store in Meru County in the coming months, buoyed by strong sales performance in the 12 months leading up to June 2023.
The company’s management has also identified new locations for further expansion across East Africa.
“We already exist in Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda, and we are looking to expand in these markets significantly. In the pre-2019 period, online and delivery sales were not a significant part of our business, but this has now grown,” the management stated.
Java Coffee House celebrates its 24th anniversary with launch of Cold Brew Coffee
In addition to its growth plans, Java Coffee House recently celebrated its 24th anniversary by introducing a new product, Cold Brew Coffee.
This ready-to-drink beverage is made from 100% Kenyan Arabica coffee beans aimed at revolutionizing the coffee-drinking experience.
It comes in 330ml cans and offers two flavours: sweetened and unsweetened, catering to diverse consumer preferences.
The unique brewing process involves steeping medium ground-roasted coffee beans in water for several hours, resulting in a smooth and flavorful coffee with a rich taste.
Priscilla Gathungu, the CEO of Java House, expressed excitement about this new innovation, highlighting its potential to captivate the taste buds of coffee lovers and its alignment with sustainability goals and support for local coffee growers.