A group of private equity investors led by rock star Bob Geldof have acquired a minority stake in Nigerian biscuit maker Beloxxi Industries Limited for $80 million to help the company expand, they said on Monday.
Geldof's fund 8 Miles, which plans to acquire more stakes in African companies before the end of the year, is seeking to tap into an expanding pool of consumers on the continent.
Nigeria's biscuit sector is growing at an annual rate of 10 to 15 percent driven by population growth, rising disposable incomes and increasing urbanisation, along with the growing popularity of biscuits as a convenience snack.
The private equity firms expect the growth to continue.
However, Africa's most populous nation is in the middle of its worst crisis in decades as a slump in oil revenues hammers public finances and the naira. Gross domestic product shrank in the first quarter and the central bank governor has said a recession is likely.
Other investors in privately-held Beloxxi alongside Geldof include Nigerian-based African Capital Alliance and German Development Finance Institution DEG.
Beloxxi employs about 2,300 people and operates through a network of some 400 distributors. It has one of the best selling cream cracker brands in Nigeria with a significant market share.
On Friday, Old Mutual and Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority said they would jointly raise a $500 million fund to invest in real estate and another $200 million to spend on agriculture projects in Nigeria. (Reporting by Chijioke Ohuocha and Eric Onstad in London; editing by David Clarke)