LOCAL private equity firm Eos Capital has acquired a majority stake in Namibian manufacturer Elso Holdings, the first such investment on behalf of the firm’s Allegrow Fund.

The acquisition is subject to approval from the Namibian Competition Commission.
Eos Capital said yesterday that it aims to expand Elso Holdings Namibia and place the existing enterprise’s environmentally friendly, biodegradable products within reach of more Namibians and those within the Southern African Development Community region.

Eos Capital’s N$450 million Allegrow Fund mandate is inves­ting in companies which have the potential for rapid growth through the right capital and strategic support.

“The firm sees the acquisition and future plans for Elso as a positive response to government’s industrialisation policy and the drive towards import substitution and local value−addition,” the firm stated.

Elso is a local manufacturer which prides itself in the environmentally friendly manufacturing of biodegradable, toxin−free cleaning liquids and powders, tissue paper products and cleaning equipment. With seven branches across the country and around 120 employees, the company is also in an ideal position to increase their supply to wholesalers, retailers, guest houses, hotels, businesses and government ministries across the country.

According to Ekkehard Fried­rich, chief investment officer of Eos Capital, Eos will ensure that overall productivity is continued with the retention of all employees and management, while a new chief operating officer (COO) will help alleviate some of the workload expected from the growth. This in turn will allow incumbent chief executive officer (CEO) and entrepreneur René Rusch, who has substantially built the company since 1998, to focus on more strategic issues.

“Our aim is to create rapid growth for the companies we invest in, while due consideration is given to the risks involved in such an investment. For these reasons, Elso is the ideal candidate for our Allegrow Fund,” Friedrich said.
Johannes !Gawaxab, executive chairman of Eos Capital, said partnerships can help Namibian businesses operate at much higher levels than previously thought possible.