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Actis invests R760m to help Food Lovers roll out new stores

| Store Openings

Private equity firm Actis is investing R760m in Food Lovers Holdings, a retail group owned by the Coppin family that founded Fruit & Veg City in 1993.

As well as Food Lover’s Market stores, the group owns the Fresh Stop shops at Caltex garage forecourts. Its partners include Seattle Coffee Company, which plans to have 100 outlets at Food Lover’s Market cafés by the end of the year.

"The overall investment in Food Lovers Holdings is R760m. Part of the capital is going into the business to continue rolling out stores. Part of the money is to acquire the shares," Actis director, David Cooke, said on Thursday.

"We have got a significant minority stake. We are backing Brian and Mike Coppin. Brian continues to be CEO."

The food retailer generated R10bn in annual sales across its 120 stores and over 200 Fresh Stop outlets, Mr Cooke said.

CEO Brian Coppin said: "What drew us to (Actis) is its experience of working with family-owned businesses and its deep understanding of sub-Saharan Africa."

Actis’s "knowledge of what it takes to be successful in retail and its proven track record of having built 15 retail malls in seven countries is a great business fit for our growth strategy in the future".

With more than $7.6bn assets under management, Actis has investments in consumer companies in markets including China and Latin America.

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