Abraaj Group buys majority stake in South Africa’s Libstar-Reuters

(Reuters) – Emerging market-focused private equity firm Abraaj Group has bought a majority stake in Liberty Star Consumer Holdings (Libstar), a South African food and personal care product manufacturer, it said on Wednesday.

Dubai-headquartered Abraaj bought shares in unlisted Libstar from its existing shareholders including Metier, Old Mutual Private Equity, Development Partners International and Lereko, it said in a statement.

Abraaj said it would continue to support Libstar’s pan-African growth strategy, including in South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. It did not disclose the size of the deal.
The fund, which has around $7.5 billion of assets under management, has targeted a number of acquisitions in recent months in consumer businesses in large emerging markets across Africa, the Middle East and Turkey.

It is jointly bidding with TPG Capital to buy a majority holding in Saudi fast-food chain Kudu, while its investment management affiliate approached Egyptian snack maker Bisco Misr in July for a 51 percent stake.

In June, it said it intended to complete a take-over of Egyptian healthcare company Cairo Medical Center, and finalised an 80 percent stake buy of Turkish dairy products maker Yorsan in December.

Libstar operates across South Africa through manufacturing, supply and distribution and employs about 4,200 people. The $56 billion South African grocery retail market and $14 billion food services market are estimated to grow at 7 percent and 9.5 percent per year respectively to 2018, Abraaj said in the statement.