The Abraaj Group to buy Java House from ECP

The Abraaj Group has agreed to buy Java House Group, an East Africa-based casual dining chain. The sellers are Emerging Capital Partners and Java House founder and Chairman Kevin Ashley. No financial terms were disclosed. Akin Gump advised ECP on the deal.


(Washington, D.C.) – The Abraaj Group, a leading investor operating in growth markets, announced on July 3 that it had entered into a definitive agreement to purchase, through its funds, 100 percent of Java House Group, East Africa’s leading coffee-led casual dining chain, from private equity firm Emerging Capital Partners (ECP) and its founder and chairman, Kevin Ashley. Akin Gump advised ECP in the transaction.

Established in 1999, Java House has grown from 13 shops in Nairobi into East Africa’s largest casual dining brand. It now numbers 60 stores across 10 cities in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.

Java House was acquired by ECP in 2012, which was also advised by Akin Gump in that deal and was selected by Africa Investor for its Venture Capital/Private Equity Deal of the Year award. This latest transaction will close once customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals are obtained. (You may learn more about the 2012 acquisition here.)

“We are delighted to have assisted with this notable Africa sales auction, which attracted the attention of industry leading African private equity funds and investors,” said Thomas Trimble, a partner in Akin Gump’s cross-border transactions practice based in Washington, D.C., who led the deal team representing ECP.

Mr. Trimble was joined in the transaction by cross-border transactions counsel John Bryant, partner Jeremy Schwer and associate Ramin Mohammad in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office, partners David Sewell and Robert Aulsebrook in the firm’s London office, and partner Robert Pees in the firm’s New York office.

Founded in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a leading international law firm with more than 900 lawyers in offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.