AfricInvest, one of the key Pan-African midcap private equity firms, is pleased to announce that its Maghreb Private Equity Fund II (MPEF II) has successfully sold its 20.06% stake in the Group Cotugrain Hortimag (Cotugrain Hortimag) to a consortium composed of BIAT Capital Risque (the private equity fund of BIAT, a leading private-sector bank in Tunisia) and the company’s owner, Mr. Adel Ghariani.
Cotugrain Hortimag is a Tunisia-based leader in the production of seeds, fresh vegetables, and young plants for export. The company also imports raw materials and machinery for agricultural production and is a partner of the major international players in these fields. (www.cotugrain.com).
AfricInvest first invested in Cotugrain Hortimag in 2007 to support the founding partner in the execution of an ambitious business plan which allowed the company to develop and expand its production of seeds, young plants, fresh vegetables and peppers for both the local and export markets, particularly through a network of Dutch contacts. Over the course of AfricInvest’s partnership with the company, it was able to generate impressive growth, increasing its turnover and EBITDA by four and five times, respectively. The group was also successful in achieving its strategic objective of regional expansion with the creation of a production and trading company in Algeria.
The partnership between Mr. Ghariani and AfricInvest also led to important development impacts. For example, Cotugrain Hortimag’s personnel numbers increased from 335 employees (of which only 35 were permanent) at the time of investment, to more than 800 (of which 133 are permanent) today, achieving a multiple of 2.5 times. Over the same period, the overall payroll increased seven times.
AfricInvest founding partner, Ziad Oueslati, said, “We are both proud and honored to have joined forces with Mr. Adel Ghariani to help Cotugrain Hortimag achieve such impressive growth. The company is now the unchallenged leader in Tunisia in its sector. For the past nine years, our partnership with Cotugrain Hortimag has been strong, supported by the professionalism, commitment and loyalty of its team, setting a good example for the agricultural sector in Tunisia. We express our best wishes of success and further growth to Cotugrain Hortimag.”
Cotugrain Hortimag founding partner and manager, Mr. Adel Ghariani said, “My first experience with a private equity fund was with AfricInvest. We have worked extremely well together over the past nine years and I am happy to see what the Group Cotugrain Hortimag has been able to achieve in terms of value creation and growth. I am also excited to partner with BIAT Capital Risque in order to continue our growth.”
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AfricInvest was founded in 1994 and is today among the leading private equity firms in North and Sub-Saharan Africa with more than 1 billion USD of assets under management across 14 PE funds and sponsored by prestigious DFIs, private and institutional investors. The firm has made 135 investments over the course of its history, and relies on a team of 50 highly skilled investment professionals with over 130 years of cumulative PE experience. AfricInvest operates out of seven offices in Tunis, Casablanca, Algiers, Lagos, Abidjan, Nairobi and Paris.
AfricInvest Group is the co-founder of the African Venture Capital Association (http://www.avca-africa.org/) and the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association (www.empea.org) and member of the Euromed Capital Forum (www.euromed-capital.com).
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