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Vantage Invests in Aquasantec

Staff writer
July 25, 2023, 2:02 p.m.
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Vantage Capital, Africa’s largest mezzanine debt fund manager, has made an investment into Aquasantec International, a manufacturer and distributor of water tanks, pipes and related products, addressing water, sanitation and hygiene needs across the East African region.

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Vantage Capital, Africa’s largest mezzanine debt fund manager, has made an investment into Aquasantec International, a manufacturer and distributor of water tanks, pipes and related products, addressing water, sanitation and hygiene needs across the East African region.

Vantage invested $25m into Aquasantec in June 2023, in the form of mezzanine debt and ordinary equity, acquiring a controlling shareholding in the Group as part of a leveraged management buy-out.

The founding Shah family, Ramco Group (a diversified conglomerate in Kenya) as well as Terra Mauricia (a publicly listed conglomerate in Mauritius) disposed of their shareholding in the Group as part of the transaction.

Roshal Ramdenee, Associate Partner at Vantage Capital, said: "Vantage is thrilled to announce its investment into Aquasantec International. We see water security as a core priority for the African continent and look forward to supporting a strong management team in achieving their ambitions of delivering innovative water security solutions across the continent.”

Aquasantec was originally founded in Kenya (trading as Kentainers) over 30 years ago by Chandulal Shah and family. Since then, the business has grown organically, becoming a household name across the region.

With the recent addition of a new state-of-the-art factory in Nairobi, alongside factories in Uganda, Rwanda and Zambia, the business is poised to continue its mission of securing the water needs of East Africa. Kentank, the Group’s flagship water tank brand in Kenya, was ranked the number 1 brand in its category by Superbrand on multiple occasions over the past decade.

Aquasantec’s core product range includes various sizes and types of water storage and supply products including water tanks, underground tanks, drums and pipes. Other products include septic tanks, grain silos and pallets. The Group has a moulding capacity of over 12,000 tons annually and an extrusion capacity of over 15,000 tons annually.

Vantage’s investment will contribute positively towards improving water security and access to water supply in a region characterised by water scarcity.

Access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene aligns directly with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation), and is crucial for life, health, socio-economic development and upliftment.

Warren van der Merwe, Managing Partner at Vantage Capital, said: “Vantage is proud to back a successful company with such a strong social impact and a management team which has a proven track record of building Aquasantec into the leading regional player in its sector. We share management’s vision to capitalise on Aquasantec's market-leading brands and new factory premises to launch its next phase of growth.”

Kalpesh Patel, CEO at at Aquasantec, who represents KRUZ IN Limited, management’s shareholding vehicle, noted: “Aquasantec welcomes Vantage Capital, a partner in progress, as we share the common desire to continue the three-decade long journey of ‘transforming lives’ across the region of East Africa by providing safe, clean access to water in water-challenged families and communities. The partnership will help accelerate the pace of growth towards achieving our ambitious growth objectives. We also take this opportunity to thank departing shareholders for their contribution to the growth of the Group to date.”

Caroma Consulting acted as financial advisor to the transaction, Coulson Harney and Werkmans acted as legal counsel for Vantage and management. Other advisors to the transaction included Ernst and Young, Webber Wentzel and IBIS Consulting.

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