Africa Food Security Fund invests in Tanzanian bakery chain

Posted on: 25 March, 2020 at 8:30 AM

The sophomore fund of Zebu Investment Partners, the Africa Food Security Fund, has closed its investment in Royal Oven Limited, Tanzania. Royal Oven is a quick-service restaurant (QSR) retail bakery chain, offering a diverse range of products which combine traditional Tanzanian food with international bakery trends.

Royal Oven opened its first retail bakery in 2008 in Dar es Salaam and has since grown to 19 stores across Tanzania. The company operates a central kitchen and bakery in key hubs, ensuring consistent quality and freshness of products to consumers daily.

Tanzania has been one of sub-Saharan Africa’s most rapidly growing economies, albeit plagued with infrastructure gaps and an inefficient product supply chain, touted by investors as an impediment to retail expansion in the country. Royal Oven’s ability to expand with various store size options and control its supply chain has made it agile and resilient in what some might see as a challenging operating environment.

“We’ve built Royal Oven over the past decade, with a relentless pursuit for superior quality, customer-centric service and distinguished taste –entrenching our brand in the minds of consumers. We are excited to partner with AFS Fund, which will enable us to realise our strategy of creating a Tanzanian-grown QSR offering with a significant sub-Saharan Africa footprint. Expansion of Royal Oven’s product offering and route to market will also have ripple effects for our suppliers and consumers across the spectrum, which is core to our purpose,” said Exaudi Kiwali, executive chairman and co-founder of Royal Oven.

“Royal Oven is an ideal candidate for our mandate, which seeks transformative opportunities in a way that creates a real standard around food security on the continent, whilst partnering with strong, committed and proven management teams who are open to the value-add associated with private equity partners. We look forward to the partnership with Royal Oven in creating a Tanzanian QSR with wider ecosystem positive impact, whilst upholding international food and safety standards,” Zebu senior managing partner, Dennis Matangira, said in a statement.

The fund’s technical assistance facility (TAF), once fully funded, will explore the possibility of funding inclusive projects targeting suppliers and continuing to expand the company’s product offering to capture base-of-the-pyramid consumers.

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