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VENTURES AFRICA – Global emerging market private equity firm Actis has acquired 36 percent stake in Kenya’s AutoXpress, a leading vehicle parts sales company, for an undisclosed amount.
According to London-based Actis, it made the move after observing the growing relevance of AutoXpress’ products in Kenya.
“AutoXpress’ products and services are particularly relevant to the Kenyan market, which is dominated by second hand cars,” said Michael Turner, Actis head of East Africa.
Research had shown that about 70 percent of vehicles in Kenya were imported second-hand vehicles and this boosted demand for high-quality replacement parts, online news platform BusinessDay Live quoted a director at Actis, Jono Matthews as saying.
AutoXpress has 20 stores; 19 in Kenya and one in Rwanda where it sells tyres, batteries and suspension brands, a wide coverage one of the things that enticed Actis.
“AutoXpress is a compelling entrepreneurial business that meets a core consumer need: access to quality tyres, automotive parts and services in convenient locations….we intend to accelerate AutoXpress’ expansion across East Africa to become the leading pan-regional tyre and auto-parts business,” Head of Private Equity at Actis. Peter Schmidt said.
“By backing the leading provider of after-market tyres, auto parts and services, we hope this investment will directly benefit East African consumers and businesses,” Actis Head of East Africa, Michael Turner added.
The new investment is expected to fund AutoXpress’ expansion to Tanzania and other East African markets.
According to Sandeep Shah, the vehicle parts company’s MD, Actis’ proven track record, regional insight and industry experience make them the right investor to support AutoXpress’ next stage of growth in East Africa.
“We look forward to working with Actis’ in-house Value Creation Group to assist in implementing our market strategy of expanding the products and services that our customers need,” he added.