Catalyst Acquires Stake in Ethiopia’s Yes Brands

Catalyst Principal Partners, an East African-focused private equity firm, has acquired a 50 percent stake in Yes Brands Food & Beverages PLC, Ethiopia. Yes Brands is a bottled mineral water company.


Catalyst Principal Partners, an East African-focused private equity firm, today announced the acquisition of a 50% stake in Yes Brands Food & Beverages PLC, Ethiopia.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Catalyst CEO Paul Kavuma said “Yes Brands is the leading bottled mineral water company in Ethiopia with a dominant brand and market share. Catalyst aims to build upon the company’s strength to accelerate growth of the business through enhanced operational capacity, deeper distribution and product innovation.”

Yes Brands founder, Alemayehu Nigussie, welcomed Catalyst as a value-add partner saying, “Together with Catalyst, we have embarked on an ambitious growth strategy for Yes Brands. We will continue to build on the success of Yes Brands to ensure wide availability of our products to satisfy the evolving needs of consumers in Ethiopia and across the region.”

Ethiopia is amongst the best performing economies in the world and the second fastest in Africa, with GDP growth averaging 8-10 per cent over the past 5 years. “With its dynamic economy and population of 85 million, the second largest in Africa, Ethiopia is an attractive market for emerging players within the consumer sector and represents a compelling investment opportunity,” said Catalyst Managing Director, Rajal Upadhyaya.

Ethiopia’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Tadesse Haile, who officiated at the ceremony, hailed Catalyst’s decision to invest in Yes Brands, saying it was a signal of confidence in the country’s economy.

“It is encouraging that significant investments and resources are being directed towards the development of leading Ethiopian products and brands. The expansion of manufacturing capacity within Ethiopia will certainly translate into broader socio-economic benefits.”

Other recent Catalyst investments include ChemiCotex Industries Ltd, the leading oral and personal care products manufacturer in Tanzania, and Chai Bora Ltd, Tanzania’s premier tea packaging company.


Notes to the Editor

About Catalyst
Catalyst Principal Partners LLC manages Catalyst Fund I LLC, a US$125m private equity fund that invests in mid-sized companies across Eastern Africa, including Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Zambia and Democratic Republic of Congo. The Fund’s sector focus includes consumer goods and retail, financial and business services, industrials, manufacturing and value-add processing, technology and telecommunications, with the Fund making strategic minority and controlling equity investments ranging from between US$5m and US$20m.

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