Private equity firm Tana Africa Capital has purchased a stake in Kensington Distillers & Vintners, an African premium drinks business focused on beverage manufacturing and distribution.
Rowan Leibbrandt, KDV Holdings cofounder. Source: Supplied
KDV Holdings owns majority stakes in Truman & Orange South Africa, Monument Distillers East Africa (Kenya) and Monument Distillers Nigeria.
Tana’s investment is intended to help KDV achieve its vision of becoming a formidable pan-African drinks business, by scaling its business in its core markets, establishing a new presence in other high growth African markets such as Mozambique, Tanzania, Ghana, Angola, Congo and Zambia and supporting future potential growth acquisitions.
KDV plans to add these additional high-growth African markets to its portfolio over the next two years, as part of its vision to establish its brands in all the key African drinks markets.
Premium African spirits proposition
Tana, as an active and long-term investor, aims to build strong African companies and recognises KDV as a business with exceptional growth potential.
Says Mark Tindall, MD at Tana: “We are very excited to partner with the founders and management team at KDV to build an exceptional Africa-focused spirits business which makes aspirational, high-quality products available to a large group of potential consumers. KDV has great founding partners, an experienced management team, strong growth prospects and an exciting future ahead.”
KDV states that the keys to its success has been offering high-quality wine and spirit brands at accessible price points, and its focus on a selection of premium categories with its portfolio of international brands. Started in 2014 by Owen Gibbs (ex Deutsche Bank, Glencore) and Rowan Leibbrandt
(William Grant & Sons, Pernod Ricard), the team was joined shortly after launch
by SAB veteran Mark Bowman.
In a short period of time, the company has built a strong network in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya and acquired well-known brands in each region: Nigerian bitters brand Rootz 1960
and its associated manufacturing facility from ABI/SAB; Bertram’s Brandy, Lupini Sambuca, Cape Velvet Cream Liqueur, Montego and Squadron Rums in South Africa from Diageo; and become the distributor for Van Loveren’s Four Cousins range of wine in Kenya and Nigeria.
Bowman says: “As KDV grows its footprint across Africa we are delighted that an investment firm with the reputation of Tana has recognised the value that we know exists in our premium African spirits proposition. We are looking forward to working together to accelerate our growth over the next few years.”
Leibbrandt comments: “We have an ambitious vision to build an Africa-focussed drinks business, committed to catering to the continent’s increasingly wealthy, urban, drinkers – and we’re delighted to have found a partner who are as excited by this opportunity as we are.”