French Spirits Group Pernod Ricard Buys Stake in Jumia

French spirits group Pernod Ricard is buying an unspecified stake in Jumia. This will allow it to become a “strategic shareholder” in Africa’s leading online retailer.

The two companies will develop innovative distribution strategies in the region. The companies said in a statement. It seems the investment is to help Pernod expand its product offering to consumers in the continent.

Pernod Ricard is present in 13 African countries. It says that it will share its expertise on consumers and physical distribution networks. While Jumia will bring its digital, logistics and payment platforms.

“We are very proud to welcome Pernod Ricard as a new strategic partner of Jumia,” said Sacha Poignonnec and Jérémy Hodara, co-CEOs of Jumia. “This investment is an acknowledgement of the growth and innovation that Jumia has achieved since 2012.”

Gilles Bogaert, CEO of Pernod Ricard’s Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America unit, said:

“Pernod Ricard has made Africa its new frontier, as shown by the successive openings of subsidiaries over the last few years. Jumia is a partner of choice as digital and e-commerce represent real strategic accelerators in this region for us.”

Paul-Robert Bouhier, president of Pernod Ricard Sub-Saharan Africa, added:

“Our business relationship with Jumia traces back to 2016 with the successful launch of Jumia-Party. This innovation has experienced solid growth in cities such as Lagos, Nairobi and Accra.”

Besides its online services platform, Jumia operates a restaurant delivery platform, Jumia Food. As well as a hotel booking service, Jumia Travel. Together, these represent around 25,000 establishments in Africa. Pernod Ricard said it will be able to rely on this network to develop the presence of its brands in the out-of-home segment.

Jumia's last round of funding was a Series C that it raised close to two years ago, in March 2016. The e-commerce giant raised over $400 million from six investors led by its major shareholders - MTN Group and Rocket Internet. To-date, they have raised a total of over $700 million in a period of over 6 years.

There's been a rumour of Rocket Internet considering floating Jumia on either Frankfurt, London or New York Stock Exchanges. While it was also rumoured that MTN Group -which owns 40% of the company - wanted to exit.

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