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The Rohatyn Group Announces Investment in Kensta Group, East Africa’s Leading Paper Merchandiser and Supplier of Print and Digital Solutions

27th April 2023

The Rohatyn Group (“TRG”) a specialized global asset management firm focused on investment solutions in emerging markets and real assets, today announced an investment in Kensta Group (“Kensta”), an East African group operating in the region’s paper and print sectors. The investment seeks to enable Kensta to increase production capacity, diversify product offerings and fund core working capital requirements as it implements its five-year strategic plan. This investment took place prior to TRG’s acquisition of the business of Ethos Private Equity (“Ethos”), which closed on April 1, 2023. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The Kensta Group’s operations encompass manufacturing paper-based scholastic and office stationery, distributing printing supplies, and the provision of associated office equipment and IT services. The Kensta Group is a multi-generational family-owned business founded in the early 1960s and led by Priyesh Shah. Kensta Group has a well-established track record of providing consistent and innovative products and solutions to the printing and packaging industry in East Africa.

Bilal Vaiani, a Managing Director at TRG, said: “This investment is aimed at unlocking Kensta’s growth objectives using efficient and structured capital, which avoids the need for equity dilution. Kensta’s readiness to adhere to the IFC’s strict environmental, social and governance performance standards reflects an integral part of our investment thesis. Our funding is expected to help establish critical added manufacturing capacity and associated jobs in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.”

TRG believes that the paper and print sectors are relatively underdeveloped in East Africa and ripe with potential as compared to other developing economies where these sectors play a key role in economic growth and job creation. Additionally, these sectors can improve literacy rates through their key contributions to the education space.

Priyesh Shah, CEO of Kensta Group, said: “The funding from TRG will be utilized to strengthen the group’s balance sheet and provide growth capital to enhance our capacity to innovate, whilst widening our distribution network in the region.”

“Formerly operating as Ethos Mezzanine Partners, we’ve had a long history of providing growth and replacement capital to mid-market business across East Africa, the Horn, and Southern Africa,” added Phillip Myburgh, a Partner at TRG. “The potential of this sector in East Africa is enormous, and we are excited to partner with Kensta to fund the next phase in its growth aspirations.”

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