Actis sells down stake in North African snack business

The dual listing on the Egyptian and London Stock exchanges gives Edita a market cap of $880m

Emerging markets specialist Actis has partially exited North African snack food business Edita Food Industries through a joint listing on the Egyptian and London stock exchanges, according to a statement from the firm.

The firm has sold a 15 percent stake – half of its total stake – at a share price of EGP 18.5 (€2.24; $2.43) per share, giving the company a market capitalisation of EGP 6.7 billion (€811 million; $879 million).

The institutional offering was 13.4x oversubscribed and the retail offering was 4.4x oversubscribed, Actis said. Investors included a wide range of blue-chip institutional investors. A subsidiary of leading Greek snack foods player Chipita was also a selling shareholder, contributing to a total free float of 30 percent.

Actis invested $102 million for a 30 percent stake in Edita in June 2013 using capital from its 2008-vintage Actis Emerging Markets III and its Actis Global 4, which held a final close in September 2013. The firm secured commitments of $1.7 billion for the vehicle, including a $160 million African co-investment pool.

Founded in 1996 by the Berzi family and Chipita, Edita manufactures, markets and distributes branded baked snack products, including packaged cakes, croissants, rusks, wafers and confectionary. The company’s brand portfolio includes Molto, Toto, Hohos, Twinkies, Bake Rolz, Freska and MiMix. Edita delivered sales of EGP 1.9 billion (€230 million; $249 million) in 2014, Actis said.

“Since we invested, the business has launched its new headquarters and logistics hub, increased production capacity with a major investment in a new factory, and upgraded its ERP system. In addition, the management have brought corporate governance standards up to international levels,” Dr. Sherif Elkholy, director at Actis and Edita board member, said in a statement. “The strong interest received for the IPO signals significant appetite from both Egyptian and international institutional investors.”

In May 2014 Actis realised its investment in Egypt-listed bank Commercial International Bank, in which it first invested $244 million in July 2009. The firm sold its remaining 6.5 percent stake to Toronto-based Fairfax Financial Holdings, having sold 2.6 percent in March.