ECP Goes out for Coffee—in Nairobi

Emerging Capital Partners, the pan-African PE firm, will invest in Nairobi Java House, the casual dining company with operations in Kenya. It marks the PE firm’s second deal in East Africa, and comes from its ECP Africa Fund III. The sponsor is also opening a new office in Nairobi, it announced.


Emerging Capital Partners announces investment in Nairobi Java House
Pan-African specialist opens a new office in Nairobi, Kenya
Nairobi, Kenya; 28 May 2012: Emerging Capital Partners (ECP), the pan-African private equity specialist, today announced that it has invested in Nairobi Java House, Kenya’s leading café and casual dining restaurant operator. The news marks the first private equity deal in the restaurant sector in East Africa, and ECP’s second investment in the East Africa region from its latest fund, ECP Africa Fund III. In conjunction with this investment, ECP has announced it will be opening a new office in Nairobi, Kenya.
Nairobi Java House launched operations in 1999 and has since expanded across Nairobi, serving African-grown coffee alongside a full menu of international cuisine. Nairobi’s affluent and middle class have both embraced Nairobi Java House as a high-quality, affordable restaurant destination. By day, it is frequented by business professionals for a quick snack or a meeting over breakfast, coffee, or lunch; by night and at weekends, the crowd returns with friends and family for socializing and casual dining in the unique family-friendly ambiance. It continues to deliver on its promise of exceptional coffee and delicious meals at affordable prices in a lively, warm environment. In addition to the casual dining restaurant brand, the Company has also launched Planet Yogurt, the first self-serve frozen yogurt brand in Africa, now with four outlets in Nairobi.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed; however ECP’s capital will be used to expand the Nairobi Java House operations and the number of locations around Kenya and the broader region.
Commenting on the announcement, Kevin Ashley, CEO at Nairobi Java House said, “Quality and professionalism are deep-rooted in the Nairobi Java House culture and we are delighted that this has been recognized on a global stage. The facts of our success speak for themselves: sales have grown consistently as we have increased our number of outlets to 18 locations across Nairobi, with new branches slated to open in Mombasa, Nakuru and Kisumu in the coming year. We look forward to the next stage of growth, supported by market leading private equity firm ECP.”
Bryce Fort, a Managing Director at ECP, added, “Nairobi Java House enjoys an attractive positioning as both aspirational and yet obtainable by East Africa’s rapidly expanding consumer middle class and, as such, it sits perfectly with ECP’s investment thesis. We seek to back proven global business models that are being pursued across Africa and deployed to international standards. Nairobi Java House is a prime example of the success of the fast casual dining restaurant model and a reaffirmation of the growth to be found in East Africa – a growth market that we are supporting in the opening of our new office location in Nairobi. We look forward to working alongside the management team as it launches new outlets across the region, as well as continuing to support our existing portfolio companies across East Africa.”
Emerging Capital Partners has been investing across the African continent for twelve years. The firm has made over 50 investments and has accomplished more than twenty exits in a range of sectors, including financial services, telecoms, consumer products, agribusiness, logistics, industrials, and natural resources. In East Africa, ECP also currently holds investments in Wananchi Group, Kenya’s first triple play cable company and Spencon, a civil engineering and construction company established in 1979. Previous investments in the region include: Celtel International and PanAfrican Energy. For more information on Emerging Capital Partners, please see

About Emerging Capital Partners
Emerging Capital Partners (ECP) is the first private equity firm to raise more than US$1.8 billion for growth capital investing in Africa. Founded in 2000, ECP was one of the first firms dedicated to Africa which, today, translates into investments in more than 50 African companies through seven funds. Today, ECP has more people on the ground than any other firm: more than 70% of its investment professionals, who hail from 12 African countries, operate from seven local offices.
ECP’s investments are the most diversified of any African private equity firm with capital in over 40 African countries. Sectors include financial services, telecommunications, retail and consumer, natural resources, agriculture and infrastructure.
In 2011 ECP was named ‘Best Private Equity House in Africa’ by EMEA Finance magazine for a second consecutive year and was honored with the Gold Award for Best Emerging Countries Private Equity Fund by Private Equity Exchange.
About Nairobi Java House
Nairobi Java House (NJH) introduced a gourmet café culture to Kenyans in 1999, becoming home to Kenya’s finest hand-roasted coffee and freshly prepared home-style food. Nairobi Java House has also launched Africa’s first Self Serve Frozen Yogurt Brand, Planet Yogurt. For more information, please visit: