KENYA – Java House Africa, one of the leading coffee houses in East Africa, has refuted claims that its owner, UK-based private equity fund Actis is looking for potential buyers for the business estimated to be worth between Sh2.5 billion (US$18.4m) and Sh3 billion (US$24m).
The speculations into the sale have been going on for weeks now with many media houses quoting person’s familiar with the transactions.
Mauritius-based private equity firm Adenia Partners had been identified as one of the potential buyers with “sources familiar with the matter” intimating that talks were at an advanced stage.
In a LinkedIn Post, Java House Africa, which operates over 80 stores in 3 countries and across 12 East African cities, distanced itself from the said reports.
“There have been a number of misleading articles in the press recently speculating that Java might be for sale. These are absolutely incorrect. There is no sale process and there are no offers on the table,” read the LinkedIn post.
As the sale process continues to unfold, what is sure is that Java House has been making moves to strengthen its leadership position in Kenya’s restaurant chain business.
Last year, the company announced plans to open five more branches in Kenya by October as it expands in a market that is becoming increasingly competitive with the growth and entry of more fast-food brands.
The coffee house said it will open two outlets at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi and another one at Moi International Airport in Mombasa targeting hundreds of travelers going through the facilities.
Java will also open a branch in Eastleigh in Nairobi as well as in Machakos town as it seeks to spread its wings across the countries.
Later in August the chain revealed plans to partner with local investors who will use the Kukito brand name to establish up to 30 fast-food outlets as it seeks to accelerate growth through franchising.
In a witty rebuttal to its sales claims, the company reiterated its strong focus on Kenya and the East Africa market.
It said: “What is on the table is a focus on continuing to deliver what we do best as East Africa’s leading chain of casual dining restaurants: delicious food and the best coffee in town, served with love!.”
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