Majority stake in dessert cafe sold to East African-backed group

A majority stake in Creams, the dessert cafe which has ten outlets across the Midlands, has been sold to Pistachio Holdings.

Pistachio Holdings is backed by Ankush Shah of the East Africa-based Sumaria Group.

Shah is involved in major QSR and consumer brands internationally and is a managing director at Sumaria Group, a family-owned investment holding company in East Africa, and chairman of Doughworks Limited, a KFC and Pizza Hut franchisee in Tanzania.

In October, Creams reported a record-breaking October with sales of over £4m across the estate. The brand has also opened three new stores since March 2020 with another five to six planned for the first quarter of 2021.

Creams CEO and co-founder Adam Mani said: “The Creams brand, amidst the pandemic, has maintained strong sales and growth. Product innovation, effective supply chain management and the hard work and passion of our internal team and franchisees have stood us in good stead and this new partnership is an exciting one for Creams.

“This strategic investment from Pistachio Holdings will help drive our future growth aspirations including growing the business internationally and increasing our manufacturing capabilities, areas in which they can really add value.

“We have successfully pivoted the business during the pandemic without diluting the Brand DNA and offering our customers a truly immersive experience. We are excited to bring on a new strategic partner that can be a catalyst for us realising our medium-term growth initiatives.”

Salonica Capital, an independent investment bank headquartered in London, acted as exclusive financial advisors for this deal. Omar Majid, director within corporate finance division, said: “This is an exciting acquisition; turbo charging Cream’s growth both internationally and nationwide. Combining Pistachio Holdings international expertise and manufacturing know-how with Cream’s unique consumer proposition, makes for a compelling growth trajectory.”

Creams, knowns for its flamboyant desserts, was founded in 2008 by Balal Aqil and Adam Mani. The brand employs more than 1,400 employees and works with a variety of franchise partners across the UK. All desserts, many of which can be made vegan, feature Creams’ own premium gelato which is produced daily in East London.

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