Ethos Acquires South African Carbonated Drinks Business – Little Green Beverages

24 APR 2017

Ethos confirms that Ethos Fund VI has acquired a majority shareholding in Little Green Beverages (‘LGB’), in partnership with management and Nedbank Private Equity. 

LGB, a proudly South African company, produces a wide variety of beverages, including carbonated soft drinks, mineral water, mixers and energy drinks (all variants of the Refreshhh! brand) and private label products for leading retailers.

LGB has a national footprint with production facilities in East London and Johannesburg, as well as depots in Bloemfontein, Kwa-Zulu Natal and the Western Cape. 

Ethos Partner, Jonathan Matthews said about the deal:

Ethos invests for growth.  Under our stewardship, LGB’s business processes, people and brands will receive enhanced focus and investment to further improve products and deliver value to customers and investors. 

Together with management, Ethos has identified opportunities to grow LGB and unlock further performance, service levels and value.  To support this growth strategy, executive leadership has been re-aligned and bolstered with key hires.” 

Michael Benjamin joins as CEO, following a successful career at SABMiller Plc where he has held various senior executive positions stemming across multiple sub-Saharan regions.  He holds over 17 years’ experience in an ever-changing and dynamic FMCG environment. 

Co-founder, Lance Sheppard, will fulfil the key role of Commercial Director, while co-founder Vimal Gowan has sold his interest in order to pursue interests outside of the LGB business.

Incoming LGB CEO, Mike Benjamin added:

“LGB is a great business built by exceptional entrepreneurial founders.    Personally, I’m excited to be joining the executive team and to work with our new shareholders to continue LGB’s growth story”.

The transaction has been approved by the Competition authorities and was closed on 20th April 2017.

Ethos is South Africa’s largest private equity fund manager with a highly regarded 32-year track record of investing in great businesses for long-term, sustainable growth in the South and sub-Saharan African markets. 

Some of our better-known investments over the past few years include Twinsaver, Alexander Forbes, Tiger Wheel and Tyre, and Autozone.  To date, Ethos has made 104 investments and successfully exited 94.