KENYAA Nairobi-based private equity firm has acquired Jambo Biscuits, the maker of confectioneries under the Britania brand.

Catalyst on Monday announced it had completed buying out Jambo Biscuits for an undisclosed amount, seeking to ride on a projected growth in uptake of confectioneries and pastries by Kenya’s middleclass.

“Our investment was anchored on the innovation platform consistently achieved by the brand within the biscuits category, as well as positive market fundamentals in a sector that is growing faster than the GDP, propelled by younger demographics and growing disposable income,” said Catalyst chief executive Paul Kavuma.

The PE fund did not, however, disclose the transaction price.

Jambo Biscuits was founded in 1987 by Nitin Dawda, as a small bakery enterprise.

The entity, which now employs about 300 workers, started off with biscuits but later diversified into snacks and confectionery.

It also exports to Comesa trading bloc. Jambo feeds the Kenya Defence Forces with high energy biscuits, as well as special food for relief agencies such as World Food Programme, Unicef, and non-governmental organisations.

Mr Robert Kagundah, a former Coca Cola executive, has been appointed to take charge of the business now renamed Britania Foods Ltd.

Manji Foods, previously House of Manji, is Kenya’s market leader in the biscuits category with a market share of 27 per cent in 2016, according to data from research firm Euromonitor.

Jambo’s other competitors are Mjengo Ltd, makers of Nuvita brand, Mibisco, United Biscuits’ McVitie’s, Golden Biscuits, Sunveat Foods Ltd, Premier Cookies Ltd, and Nyanza Biscuits Ltd, among others.

May 8, 2017: Nation