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Actis invests in AutoXpress, East Africa’s leading tyre distributor

NAIROBI, Kenya, February 3, 2014-- Actis today announced a 36% equity investment in the AutoXpress group, East Africa’s leading tyre wholesaler and retailer.

This investment, which is significant in the East African market, is characteristic of the fund manager's strategy: backing a high class management team in a growing region and sub-sector, that meet the needs of the emerging market consumer for quality goods and services.

Operating through 20 company-owned stores in Kenya and Rwanda, AutoXpress is the key distributor and retailer of leading tyre, battery and suspension brands, including Pirelli, Dunlop, Marshal, BKT, KYB and Energizer. Servicing both corporate customers and the fast growing Kenyan retail market, AutoXpress is a third generation family business.

Commenting on the investment, Peter Schmid, Head of Private Equity at Actis said: “AutoXpress is a compelling entrepreneurial business that meets a core consumer need: access to quality tyres, automotive parts and services in convenient locations. In partnership with the management team, we intend to accelerate AutoXpress’s expansion across East Africa to become the leading Pan-regional tyre and auto-parts business."

Speaking from Nairobi, Actis Head of East Africa, Michael Turner added: “I’m delighted to see Actis building on its long track record of backing high quality management teams in leading African businesses. AutoXpress's products and services are particularly relevant to the Kenyan market, which is dominated by second hand cars. By backing the leading provider of after-market tyres, auto parts and services, we hope this investment will directly benefit East African consumers and businesses.”

Managing Director of AutoXpress Sandeep Shah said: “Actis’s proven track record, industry experience and regional insights make them the right investor to support AutoXpress in its next stage of growth in East Africa, with additional stores planned for Kenya and our imminent entry into the Tanzanian market. We look forward to working with Actis's in-house Value Creation Group to assist in implementing our market strategy of expanding the products and services that our customers need.”

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