KENYA – The Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) has approved the proposed takeover bid that will see consumer goods Menengai Group acquire full owenership of water and beverage company Aquamist.

Under the transaction, Menengai will acquire the entire issued share capital of Aquamist through Aquapani Limited.

“Premised on the fact that the transaction is unlikely to raise negative competition or public interest concerns, the Authority approved the proposed acquisition of 100 percent of the issued shares in Aquamist Limited by Aquapani Limited,” CAK said in a statement.

According to a reports Business Daily report, Menengai formed Aquapani as wholly-owned subsidiary solely for this deal whose completion will also hand the group a stake in the increasingly lucrative juices and other non-alcoholic drinks business.

Aquamist is largely known of its strong foot print in the water bottling and distribution business.

In addition, the firm also operates other soft beverage segments through its Vital Juices and Aquamist-branded iced teas and flavoured water targeted at premium hospitality facilities such as luxury hotels and restaurants.

According to the competition watchdog, Aquamist, owned by the Premji family, has an estimated market share of nine percent in the country’s capital and four percent nationally.

Its major rival Coca Cola through Dasani Water commands about 23 percent of the market while Maisha drinking water, managed by Ketepa, has an eight percent share, data from Euromonitor reveals.

“Post-merger, the structure and concentration of the bottled water market is unlikely to change since the acquirer is not in the same market,” said CAK, noting it expects Aquamist to still face competition even after the deal.

Acquisiton of Aquamist is expected to further expand Menagai’s business portfolio that currently includes manufacturing of cooking oils, soaps and wood products.

The consumer good company product portfolio include cooking oil brands such as Top Fry, Somo Fry and Karibu in addition to petroleum, milking jelly, laundry washing bars, detergents, and dishwashing liquid.

The Menengai Group was started in 1988 as a family business by the Shah family which was later acquired by the Rai Group following a buyout in 2011.

The Rai group also owns Tarlochan Ltd, Raiply Timber Company, West Kenya Sugar Company and Menengai Oil Refinery Company.