French investment fund manager Amethis and its partners DEG, MCB Private Equity and the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) have agreed to divest their stake in Naivas International (Mauritius), which owns Kenyan supermarket chain Naivas.

The partners will sell their stake to Mauritius-based conglomerate IBL Group for an undisclosed sum.

Established more than 30 years ago, Naivas claims to be one of Kenya’s key retailers, operating a network of 84 stores in 20 cities.

In 2020, Amethis purchased a stake in Naivas for an undisclosed sum. Reuters reported that at the time, the investment amounted to 30% of the retailer and was the Amethis Fund II’s fourth investment.

In a statement, Amethis said that Naivas had expanded its domestic footprint over the course of its investment in the retailer. It is currently in the process of adding five cities to its store network.

Naivas managing director David Kimani said: “We are very happy to welcome our new partner to Naivas.

“The backing of a leading international conglomerate is a testimony to Naivas’ success and unique profile in the market.

“We have ambitious plans for the company and look forward to combining our strengths to create value for all our stakeholders.

“We really enjoyed the quality of the partnership with Amethis and are looking forward to collaborating further in the future.”

Completion of the deal is subject to receiving regulatory approvals.

Amethis investment director Frank-Astère Ndiyo Butoyi said: “By leveraging our local office in Nairobi and Amethis’ experience in the African retail sector, we have been able to support the talented management team all-the-way through the recent expansion phase.

“We are convinced that this new partnership will unlock additional value and lay the foundations of the group’s very successful future.”