Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

21 January 2013

Tanzania: Mauritian Firm Acquires Chai Bora Limited

CATALYST Principal Partners, a Mauritian private equity firm focused on the East African region, has announced completion of the acquisition of Tanzania's leading tea packaging firm, Chai Bora Limited.

Catalyst bought the entire shareholding of Chai Bora from Transcentury Limited, a listed Kenyan investment company. This is Catalyst's second major investment in Tanzania in two years, following its investment in 2011 in ChemiCotex, leading oral and personal care manufacturer and producer of flagship "Whitedent" toothpaste brand.

According to Mr Rajal Upadhyaya, Catalyst Managing Director, the new acquisition is consistent with the firm's focus on sectors primarily driven by improving economic conditions and increasing local demand, including consumer goods, financial services, technology and industrials.

"Chai Bora is a recognized Superbrand in Tanzania where it has established a leading market share as the premier tea company in the country," said Catalyst Managing Director, Mr Upadhyaya.

He added, "Our aim is to support the continued growth and expansion of the business within Tanzania and across the region so that consumers can continue to benefit from an increasingly wide variety of affordable high quality Chai Bora products and brands."

He further said that the transaction was in line with Catalyst's approach of adding value to its investment and delivering superior returns, while ensuring broad accessibility to trusted products and maintaining best practice environmental, social and governance standards.

"By sourcing 100 per cent of its tea from Tanzanian farms and through its processing and packaging facilities, Chai Bora is supporting local production, generating employment and adding value to the economy," Mr Upadhyaya said.

"As a responsible investor, Catalyst is particularly proud of Chai Bora's stellar corporate responsibility programmes, with its commendable record of promoting community development in Tanzania and its strong advocacy and support of HIV awareness in the workplace," he added.

The Chai Bora Managing Director, Mr David Gachoki, said the entry of Catalyst was timely and that it would help propel the firm to the next level. "Chai Bora has very ambitious expansion and innovation plans for the future.

The Tanzanian economy and tea market is on a very positive growth trajectory and Chai Bora is uniquely placed to be the key driver and fulcrum of this growth.

"The entry of Catalyst is at an opportune time as the additional investment of capital and expertise into the business will provide the much needed impetus and capacity to support this growth," said Mr Gachoki.

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