Lagos, Nigeria, July 7th 2015: The Abraaj Group (‘Abraaj’ or the ‘Group’), an investor operating in global growth markets, today announced the acquisition, through one of its Funds, of a majority stake in Mouka Limited (‘Mouka’ or ‘the Company’), a mattress manufacturer in Nigeria. In partnership with the Moukarim Family (the ‘founding family’), Abraaj acquired its stake from previous shareholders, Actis and the founding family, with the latter retaining a minority stake in the Company.
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Moukarim Metalwood Factory Limited, the precursor of Mouka Limited, was established in Kano, Nigeria in 1959, producing furniture and allied metal products for the bedding industry. In 1972, it started supplying raw materials to the industry and built a foam manufacturing plant in Lagos. The Company acquired an additional foaming plant in Benin in 2005 and built a third plant in Kaduna, Nigeria in 2009.
Today, Mouka is a household brand name in Nigeria and a leading manufacturer in the Nigerian foam and bedding space. The Company has an extensive distribution network across the country, partnering with over 500 distributors who operate through more than 1,000 outlets. Abraaj, in partnership with the Moukarim family, will draw on its significant regional investment expertise to consolidate Mouka’s leadership position in Nigeria, and will look to expand the business further into the West African market.
Abraaj and the Moukarim family will focus on enhancing Mouka’s product offering, customer service, as well as its sales and distribution strategy by increasing its market penetration across the region. Abraaj, which invests with a rigorous approach to sustainability, plans to further strengthen the corporate governance structures already in place within the Company, and optimize the health and safety standards at Mouka’s production facilities, including key areas pertaining to fire safety and chemical storage, amongst others.
Mustafa Abdel-Wadood, Partner at The Abraaj Group, said: “Abraaj is one of the most active investors on the African continent, with a particularly strong track record in Nigeria. We continue to see significant upside potential across the country in tandem with the fast growth of its population and the expansion of its middle class. We’ve long been interested in the mattress-manufacturing space, and have carefully reviewed a number of opportunities in the past. The market opportunity for high quality sleeping products offers good potential for growth, and we believe Mouka is very well positioned to capitalize on this.”
Zahi El Khatib, Managing Director at The Abraaj Group, commented: “Mouka has long established itself as a household name in the Nigerian sleep products industry through its dedication to high quality manufacturing standards. Its products have come to represent quality, comfort and durability, and Abraaj together with the founding family intend to build on the strong legacy of the Mouka brand to consolidate its leadership position. We look forward to expanding the Company’s product line into adjacent categories within the bedding space, and growing the product offering to cater for different commercial and industrial applications of foam.”
Hasib Moukarim, non-executive Director of Mouka, added: “The Moukarim family recognized the Abraaj team’s deep local experience and the Group’s successful track record of developing businesses in growth markets globally. We are confident that Abraaj is the ideal investor to carry Mouka into its next phase of growth and look forward to our partnership.”
Earlier this year, Abraaj invested in Turkey’s leading mattress and sleep products manufacturer, exporter and retailer, BRN Sleep Products. In Sub-Saharan Africa, Abraaj has over a decade of investing experience, and its portfolio in Nigeria includes Fan Milk Nigeria, AOS Orwell, C&I Leasing, Custodian & Allied Insurance, Computer Warehouse Group, The Bridge Clinic & PathCare, and Lily Hospitals.
KPMG acted as financial and tax advisor, while Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP and Olaniwun Ajayi acted as legal advisors to The Abraaj Group on the transaction.
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