Actis invests $49m in Egyptian fast-food chain

The emerging markets specialist plans to expand Mo’men Group for Foods throughout Northern Africa and the Persian Gulf. The deal is Actis' second food-related acquisition in Egypt after investing in halawi and tahina maker El-Rashidi El-Mizan.

Emerging markets private equity firm Actis has invested $48.5 million (€31 million) in Mo’men Group for Foods, owner of Egypt’s largest indigenous fast-food restaurant chain.

The fresh capital will enable Mo’men to expand its sandwich shop franchise and frozen food brands into other parts of North Africa and the Persian Gulf, Actis said. Mo’men currently operates restaurants throughout Egypt, with a small presence in Sudan and Libya.

Beyond its eponymous fast-food chain, Mo’men also owns the restaurant chains Pizza King and Planet Africa. Translated literally as “faithful” or “believer”, the company was founded in 1988 by Egyptian native Mohammed Momen.

The proprietary deal represents Actis’ second food-related Egyptian investment. Last year, the firm exited El-Rashidi El-Mizan, a producer of sesame-seed based foods halawa and tahina.   

Actis still owns a 70 percent stake in Sinai Holding International, an Egyptian marble exporter and producer.

To date, the firm has invested $1.5 billion in Africa. Just last week, Actis along with Africa-focused private equity firm Emerging Capital Partners, exited Nigerian telecom company Starcomms. That exit netted ECP 2.9 times its initial investment. Actis declined to release its returns.