Phatisa invests into leading East & West African packaging and printing company MHL International
Sub-Saharan private equity investor, Phatisa, has acquired a significant minority stake in MHL International Holdings Limited (“MHL”), a subsidiary of The Manipal Group – the India-based conglomerate with interests in the printing and technology sectors – for an undisclosed sum.
The investment will mostly be used as expansion capital and is the fifth investment in Phatisa Food Fund 2.
MHL is a leading printing and packaging group in sub-Saharan Africa, operating through subsidiaries in Kenya (established in 2008) and Nigeria (established in 2014). Manipal’s range of products cut across flexible packaging and self-adhesive labels among other ancillary services, and support a wide variety of industries, key among them being the food and beverage, and agriculture sectors.
Eugene Stals, Phatisa Chief Investment Officer, commented: “Phatisa is committed to partnering ambitious management teams to grow inclusive businesses, that at the same time actively address sustainable development and societal challenges.
MHL certainly doesn’t disappoint. The business plays a pivotal role in the East and West African region, producing a wide variety of self-adhesive labels, shrink sleeves, and printed and packaging materials, particularly into the food, beverage, and agriculture markets. Its packaging solutions preserve product quality and shelf-life (for consumers), whilst MHL’s in-house R&D team work closely with corporate customers to provide innovative solutions to protect their brands from counterfeit labels.”
Wilfrid Korsaga, Partner at Phatisa, added: “In partnership with The Manipal Group, our expansion capital aims to support the consolidation of MHL’s current market position, whilst facilitating product and geographic expansion to serve the growing printing and packaging sector in Africa.
As an active impact shareholder, Phatisa will also help MHL strengthen its corporate governance and operating processes, promoting key initiatives to enhance the business’ sustability and reducing its environmental impact, through better recycling and circularity initiatives.”
Established in 1941, The Manipal Group is a multi business enterprise that has business interests in consumer industrials including packaging and labels, consumer products, financial technologies and products, media and infrastructure. The group employs over 7,000 employees spread across four continents and seven countries across the globe
Gautham Pai, the executive chairman of The Manipal Group, added: “The Manipal Group is a diverse, global enterprise, with significant interests in Africa. We intend to continue to invest in the region and are excited to partner with Phatisa, an investor with significant regional and sectoral experience.”
Pritam Choudhury, MD and CEO of MHL concluded: “MHL is the only press in Africa which can provide composite packaging solutions for brand protection – thereby enhancing our customers’ products and end-user confidence. This growth capital enables us to continue developing the technology and processes we use to improve product security and longevity – particularly in the food and beverage value chain. Plus, expand our services into new markets. The management team and I are excited to welcome Phatisa as an investor and to our board of directors, and look forward to the next stage of growth for Manipal.”
The transaction has received all regulatory approvals. Lead advisors to Phatisa included: Bowmans, Ernst & Young, Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie, the Manufacturing Africa programme. Manipal was advised by Intellecap and ThinkLaw.