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October 4, 2022

India’s Britannia Industries invests in Kenyan biscuit companies

Britannia Industries has taken a 51% stake in Kenafric Biscuits through a Dubai subsidiary.

By Simon Harvey

India’s Britannia Industries has invested in Kenafric Biscuits in Kenya and acquired full control of what was once Britania Foods.

Britannia Industries, India’s largest bakery firm with an existing presence in biscuits, said it has taken a 51% stake in Nairobi-based Kenafric. The transaction was completed yesterday (3 October).

In a filing with the Bombay Stock Exchange, Britannia Industries noted the deal was instigated by its subsidiary Britannia and Associates (Dubai), or Badco, for INR92m (US$1.1m).

Concurrently, Britannia Industries has fully acquired all of the shares in Catalyst Britania Brands, described in the same filing as the investment company owning the Britania brand in Kenya. The price of the transaction was INR14m.

Jambo Biscuits became Britania Foods in 2017 when it was acquired by Nairobi-based private-equity firm Catalyst Principal Partners, then to be given a new identity as Catalyst Britania Brands.

The Indian food firm, which also supplies bread, cakes and dairy products, pointed out there is no connection between Britannia and Britania.

Kenafric was founded in 1987 by the Chedda family and also makes confectionery and juices, according to its website. Britania operates in similar categories, including biscuits.

Britannia Industries, meanwhile, announced last week that Rajneet Kohli would become its CEO. Managing director Varun Berry was appointed vice chairman, having run the company since 2013, but would remain as MD.

The business supplies the Indian market and 80 destinations worldwide in North America, Europe, Africa, south-east Asia and the Middle East. Brands include Good Day, Tiger, NutriChoice, Milk Bikis, Marie Gold and Little Hearts.

Britannia Industries’ first-quarter revenues increased 9% to INR37.6bn but net profit fell 13% to INR3.3bn. Profit in the previous full fiscal year was down 9% at INR16bn based on revenue of INR137.3m, which rose 8.4% over the corresponding period.

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