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Catalyst Principal Partners acquires 50% stake in Yes Brands

14 May 2013

SONY DSCPrivate equity firm Catalyst Principal Partners has bought a 50 per cent stake in Ethiopian bottled mineral water company Yes Brands Food & Beverages.

The firm said the company had a “dominant brand and market share” and noted that Ethiopia was one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

Over the past five years, the East African country’s GDP has expanded at an average pace of eight to ten per cent.

Managing director of Catalyst Rajal Upadhyaya said, “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.”

Catalyst, which is focused on East Africa, has recently invested in personal care products maker ChemiCotex Industries and tea packaging company Chai Bora, which are both based in Tanzania.

The firm acquires minority or controlling stakes for $5m to $15m.

Back in November last year it closed a $125m fund. The bulk of the funding was provided by the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation, which accounted for 70 per cent of the fund. Other LPs included individual investors, fund of funds and insurance companies.

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