- Vantage Capital pumps $25M in Aquasantec International for water, sanitation, and hygiene projects across East Africa.
- Vantage Capital acquired a controlling shareholding in the Group, while also seeing the disposal of shareholdings by the founding Shah family, the Ramco Group, and Terra Mauricia.
- The partnership between Vantage Capital and Aquasantec exemplifies the transformative impact that strategic investments can have in the vital sectors of water, sanitation, and hygiene
Vantage Capital, a renowned mezzanine debt fund manager in Africa, has made a significant investment in Aquasantec International. Aquasantec is a manufacturer and distributor of water tanks, pipes, and related products, dedicated to addressing the critical needs of water, sanitation, and hygiene across Eastern Africa.
This strategic investment, totalling $25 million was executed in June 2023, and it encompassed both mezzanine debt and ordinary equity. It will result in Vantage Capital acquiring a controlling shareholding in the Group as part of a leveraged management buy-out.
The transaction also involves the disposal of shareholdings by the founding Shah family, the Ramco Group, a diversified conglomerate in Kenya, and Terra Mauricia, a publicly listed conglomerate in Mauritius.
Aquasantec’s transformative journey
Founded over 30 years ago as Kentainers Limited in Kenya by Chandulal Shah and family, Aquasantec has experienced remarkable organic growth. It has become a well-recognized household name across the East African region. The company has been steadfast in its mission to secure the water needs of the region, and its dedication has been rewarded with a recent state-of-the-art factory in Nairobi. Its growth in Kenya is complementing its existing facilities in Uganda, Rwanda, and Zambia.
Notably, Aquasantec’s flagship water tank brand, Kentank, has consistently been recognized as the number one brand in its category by Superbrand for 10 years now.
Aquasantec boasts a diverse product range that includes various sizes and types of water storage offerings such as water tanks, underground tanks, drums, and pipes. Additionally, the Group manufactures septic tanks, grain silos, and pallets, catering to a wide array of water and sanitation needs. Impressively, the company has a substantial moulding capacity, exceeding 12,000 tonnes annually, and an extrusion capacity of over 15,000 tonnes per year.
Bolstering water security
Vantage Capital plays a pivotal role in bolstering water security and access, especially in parts experiencing water scarcity. This focus on providing safe water, sanitation, and hygiene directly aligns with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation). The goal is crucial for enhancing overall life quality, health, and socio-economic development.
Roshal Ramdenee, associate partner at Vantage Capital, expressed enthusiasm for the investment, saying water security is a top priority. Vantage Capital eagerly looks forward to supporting Aquasantec’s strong management team in their pursuit of delivering innovative water security solutions.
Warren van der Merwe, Managing Partner at Vantage Capital, lauded the company for its social impact. Aquasantec’s management team has demonstrated a successful track record in building the Group into a leading regional player.
Vantage Capital shares the management’s vision and is keen to leverage Aquasantec’s market-leading brands to foster growth.
Empowering collaborative growth
Aquasantec CEO Kalpesh Patel representing KRUZ IN Limited, management’s shareholding vehicle, commended Vantage Capital as a partner in progress. Both entities share a common desire to continue a three-decade-long journey of providing safe and clean access to water. They aim to address challenges gripping families and communities facing water scarcity challenges.
The partnership is anticipated to accelerate growth and bring the ambitious objectives of Aquasantec to fruition. Patel expressed gratitude to departing shareholders for their valuable contributions to the Group’s growth over the years.
The partnership exemplifies the transformative impact that strategic investments pose for water, sanitation, and hygiene projects. As East Africa seeks water security, collaboration between public and private entities will help meet UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
By fostering a brighter future and empowering communities, this investment powers sustainable development and socio-economic growth.
The transaction was facilitated with the assistance of various advisory and legal firms. Caroma Consulting acted as the financial advisor, while Coulson Harney and Werkmans provided legal counsel for Vantage Capital and management. Other advisors to the transaction were Ernst and Young, Webber Wentzel, and IBIS Consulting. They all made a mark in making this impactful investment a reality.