RMB Corvest, RMB Ventures and Ethos Mid Market Fund have, alongside management, acquired 100% of Kevro, Africa’s largest value-add supplier of corporate and promotional apparel, and other brandable products.
The transaction is not subject to any outstanding regulatory approvals or conditions precedent.
Kevro was acquired from Ethos Fund VI, which had owned a 72% stake in the group since 2011 and was looking to realise its investment.
The consortium was attracted by Kevro’s market-leading position and its ability to provide customers with a comprehensive range of quality Brand-Able solutions.
The business is led by an impressive management team and has strong growth prospects.
Edward Pitsi, Ethos Mid Market Partner, said: “The Kevro investment represents an attractive opportunity to invest in an asset that is set up to deliver value over the medium term in partnership with like-minded investors. Over the last five years, Kevro has undertaken significant investment to build a platform for future growth and is now positioned to execute on its upside opportunities.”
“Prior to the deal, we interacted with the Kevro management team on various occasions and found them to be impressive and very knowledgeable about their operations and the industry,” said RMB Ventures’ Mbongeni Madonsela.
“Our interaction with the team demonstrated a depth of experience and we believe we will be able to form a strong partnership with them. Their previous experience with a private equity partner will also help the relationship.”
“We identified strong growth prospects for Kevro driven especially by expansion into the rest of Africa assisted by a new partnership presence in East Africa, the impact of continued investment in newer categories, acquisitions and a new supplier partnership,” added RMB Corvest Director Mike Donaldson.
Founded in 1990, Kevro is Africa largest and leading supplier of corporate-branded clothing and promotional products.
Kevro owns several well-known brands, including the industry flagship, BARRON. Their extensive range holds a world of possibility across a number of promotional marketing categories, including apparel, workwear, chefwear, sportswear, headwear, gifts, bags and display items.
Kevro’s head office and branding facility is based in Johannesburg.
The company operates from seven locations within South Africa and four more on the African continent.
Kevro is a “trade-only” supplier to more than 8,000 resellers and employs over 1,000 people.
Steven Isaacson, Kevro CEO, said: “We look forward to working with our new partners in identifying new growth areas and continuing with the solid platform laid out by the existing management team and exiting shareholder, Ethos Private Equity.”
Absa Capital advised the sellers.