ECP exits Société d’Articles Hygiéniques (SAH) via IPO on Tunis Stock Exchange

09 Jan 2014

ECP exits SAH as absorbent hygiene products manufacturer starts trading after successful IPO

Largest listing since creation of the Tunis Stock Exchange also marks the first exit of a financial investor through the TSE

Emerging Capital Partners (ECP) today announces that it has exited Société d’Articles Hygiéniques (SAH), Tunisia’s leading feminine and baby hygiene products manufacturer, following the company’s successful listing on the Tunis Stock Exchange (TSE).

The fixed offer price of TND 9.35 per share values SAH at TND 270.5 million (US$163.5 million). The sale of 14,176,590 shares, representing 48.99% of the company’s capital at listing, allowed ECP’s investment to deliver a cash multiple of 2.4x on exit.

SAH’s IPO was split into a global private placement, which represented 90% of the shares offered and was fully subscribed by 85 local and international investors, and a public offer which was oversubscribed by 22.1 times. The offering, which closed on December 23, 2013 after two days of subscription, is the largest ever since the creation of the Tunis Stock Exchange, the biggest ever secondary offering through IPO on the TSE and the first exit of a financial investor through the TSE. The TSE flotation also marked the 20th anniversary of SAH, which was founded in 1994.

SAH, which operates under the “Lilas” brand, has been an ECP investment since 2008. Over the investment period, ECP has supported SAH as it increased its customer base to 17 countries across North and sub-Saharan Africa, created subsidiaries in Algeria and Libya, and developed a paper mill factory in Tunisia. Over the last two years, SAH has grown at 17% per year, despite a difficult economic climate – testament to its focus on product innovation, diversification and locally produced, high quality offerings. SAH’s sales are expected to exceed 200 million dinars (US$120 million) in 2013 and the company currently employs over 2000 people.

Nayel Georges Vidal, Director in the Tunis office at Emerging Capital Partners, said: “Under the guidance of Ms Jalila Mezni, the company has worked hard to more than double its performance over the last five years. With ECP’s support, SAH has expanded its production capacity, brought new products to market, expanded beyond Tunisia, and built a strong customer brand – all made possible by its employees’ dedication to improving its systems, governance and product range. We firmly believe that SAH will continue to create further value for its shareholders – which include many foreign investors showing renewed interest in the Tunisian stock market.”

Adel Grar, Chairman of the Tunisian Brokerage House Association, said: “The IPO of SAH is a milestone for the TSE, as it demonstrates the ability for a local or foreign investor to exit through the Tunis Stock Exchange.

Jalila Mezni, Founder and CEO of SAH, said: “We owe the successful experience of our listing to the contribution of the SAH Group employees, our business partners and suppliers, and to our private equity partner ECP, which we thank for its contribution to our achievements during its investment period.”

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