KENYA – Kenya’s leading juice manufacturer, Kevian Kenya is considering listing on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) through an initial public offering (IPO), reports the Nation.

According to the company owner and Managing Director, Kimani Rugendo, said the listing is part of the strategy to transfer ownership of part of the company to the public.

The company which makes a range of Afia Juices, Afia Nectars and Afia Malts is in the early stage of the planned listing and there is no expected timeline for the same.

“Succession is awaited and we will now call for an Initial public offering. Be prepared,” said Mr Rugendo in a public briefing.

Kevian Kenya supports more than 800 direct employees and thousands of small-scale farmers who supply the factory with fresh fruits.

Vimto deal

The company has also entered a partnership deal with the British soft drink brand Vimto.

The exclusive franchise deal allows the local manufacturer which also makes Pick N’Peel juice manufacture the Vimto drink locally from its Thika plant.

Vimto, a soft drink that combines grapes, raspberries and blackcurrants and primarily sold in the United Kingdom, is targeting a more sophisticated segment of the market.

The deal will Kevian builds on an already established presence in the Kenyan market that has been solely through imports.

Owned by Nichols Plc, a London-listed firm, Vimto has a presence in over 85 countries with an eye on the widening market in Africa and the Middle East.

“We will be producing Vimto sparkling blackcurrant which is a carbonated drink a tour plant in Thika town starting this month,” said Rugendo.

“The product will be available in 500ml and will be retailing at US$0.59 while the 300 ml will sell at US$0.44.

This is a testament that home-grown companies have come of age to attract global recognition for partnerships. 

The deal will see the creation of 500 jobs in production and distribution businesses and expands the company’s product range.

Andrew Milne, Group Commercial Director at Vimto International, said the partnership with Kevian was buoyed by the local firm’s production capability as well as its rich distribution network.

“Our brand is performing well globally, and we plan to push the same here in Kenya.We are already in Uganda and South Sudan, and Kevian Kenya will be very central to our expansion in Kenya,” added Rugendo.

Kevian will distribute the ‘Vimto Sparkling’ brand, set to disrupt the soft drinks and juice market in Kenya that is dominated by the world’s leading soft drinks manufacturer, Coca-Cola.

The company’s leading position can be primarily attributed to its dominance in carbonates, the second biggest soft drinks category, while it also has a presence in the largest bottled water category.

The market is experiencing steady sales growth, fueled by consumer need for healthy and refreshing beverages.

According to Euromonitor, the segment is expected to perform well over the forecast period as manufacturers seek to cater for increasingly health-aware and quality-conscious consumers.