Actis invests in AutoXpress

Global emerging market investor Actis has made a 36% equity investment in the AutoXpress group. Te business is an East African tyre wholesaler and retailer.


Actis, the global emerging market investor, today announced a 36% equity investment in the AutoXpress group, East Africa’s leading tyre wholesaler and retailer.

This investment, which is significant in the East African market, is characteristic of the fund manager’s strategy: backing a high class management team in a growing region and sub-sector that meet the needs of the emerging market consumer for quality goods and services.

Operating through 20 company-owned stores in Kenya and Rwanda, AutoXpress is the key distributor and retailer of leading tyre, battery and suspension brands, including Pirelli, Dunlop, Marshal, BKT, KYB and Energizer. Servicing both corporate customers and the fast growing Kenyan retail market, AutoXpress is a third generation family business.

Commenting on the investment, Peter Schmid, Head of Private Equity at Actis said: “AutoXpress is a compelling entrepreneurial business that meets a core consumer need: access to quality tyres, automotive parts and services in convenient locations. In partnership with the management team, we intend to accelerate AutoXpress’s expansion across East Africa to become the leading Pan-regional tyre and auto-parts business.”

Speaking from Nairobi, Actis Head of East Africa, Michael Turner added:
“I’m delighted to see Actis building on its long track record of backing high quality management teams in leading African businesses. AutoXpress’s products and services are particularly relevant to the Kenyan market, which is dominated by second hand cars. By backing the leading provider of after-market tyres, auto parts and services, we hope this investment will directly benefit East African consumers and businesses.”

Managing Director of AutoXpress Sandeep Shah said: “Actis’s proven track record, industry experience and regional insights make them the right investor to support AutoXpress in its next stage of growth in East Africa, with additional stores planned for Kenya and our imminent entry into the Tanzanian market. We look forward to working with Actis’s in-house Value Creation Group to assist in implementing our market strategy of expanding the products and services that our customers need.”

Notes to editors

About Actis
Actis invests exclusively in the emerging markets with a growing portfolio of investments in Asia, Africa and Latin America; it currently has US$6 billion funds under management. Combining the expertise of over 100 investment professionals on the ground in nine countries, Actis identifies investment opportunities in three areas: private equity, energy and real estate. Actis is proud to actively and positively grow the value of those companies in which it invests and in so doing contribute to broader society.

Actis Africa track record
Actis currently has US$1.5 billion invested in 18 countries in Africa. To date, Actis has invested $2.6bn in 64 investments across the continent. Current investments in Africa include Paycorp, a leading payments business in South Africa ($95m), Edita Food Industries: a leading snack food business in Egypt ($102m), Actom, South Africa’s major electrical engineering, manufacturing, distribution and contracting company ($343m), Alexander Forbes, EMPH and Vlisco Group. Actis has invested close to $400m into East Africa and close to $300m into real estate developments in sub-Saharan Africa, including One Airport Square, Ghana’s first and only LEED certified green building and Garden City, Nairobi’s $250mn flagship retail, residential and commercial property development. Energy investments include Songas, a gas-fired generation project in Tanzania, Azito, the largest power plant in Côte d’Ivoire and Umeme, the national grid in Uganda.

Actis was awarded the most recent ‘Private Equity Firm of the Year in Africa’, for the 5th time, and African Infrastructure Fund Manager of the Year by Private Equity International.

About AutoXpress
With its own network of twenty well-equipped fitment centres in Kenya and Rwanda, AutoXpress is the market leader by far in the original equipment and replacement auto parts business in East Africa commanding a large share of the market in the tyres, batteries, wheels and suspension part segments. It carries the widest product range and the largest stock in the region. The AutoXpress network is staffed with approximately 350 professionals. AutoXpress sells its products and services to a wide selection of customers ranging from retail motorists and resellers (distributors) to garages and corporate fleet operators.