Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) an American private global investment firm is investing $200 million dollars in Afriflora in Ethiopia. Afriflora is an Ethiopian flower company that grows 730 million flowers a year in Ethiopia for export. Afriflora is one of the biggest flower companies in Africa.
KKR which based in New York City will a unique opportunity to penetrate to the African market through it’s deal with Afriflora in Ethiopia. The African investment market is dominated by China, but western companies realized they are losing a great opportunity in the continent.
The Ethiopian economy has been growing nearly 11% a year for the past eight years making Ethiopia one of the fastest growing none oil economies in the world. Private-equity investment firms have noticed the Ethiopian miracle growth and they are flocking to the country.
"We see Africa as a long-term attractive investment destination," said Kayode Akinola, head of KKR's African operations. "The potential is astounding. But the work to get there is going to be considerable."
Ethiopia is the second rose exporter in Africa next to Kenya. Ethiopia exported 1.27 billion cut roses in 2012. The Ethiopian floriculture industry is very young, but it is growing in a phenomenal rate Ethiopia is expected to take over Kenya in a few years.
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts 200 million investment in Afriflora will help the company and the Ethiopian floral industry in general to expand.
KKR plans to expand the farm by adding 200 hectares (494 acres) to the 310 hectares it currently cultivates. About 5,000 more jobs also will be created, Mr. Akinola said. The Dutch Barnhoon family, who founded the Ethiopian company in 2004, will remain as a shareholder and manager once the transaction is complete.