Beirut, Lebanon: ME NewsWire: EuroMena is pleased to announce the acquisition of a minority stake of Retail Holding SA (the “Group”), a leading Moroccan Retailer. Proceeds of the investment will mainly be used to fund the expansion of the Group.
The Group was established in the mid-80s by Mr. Zouhair Bennani, initially as a single supermarket in Rabat, operating under the Hyper brand. Over the years the Group grew substantially, and is now one of the major retailers in Morocco. Retail Holding is the franchisee for French giant Carrefour, apparel retailer Kiabi, Virgin Megastore and fast food chain Burger King. The Group recently started its expansion to Africa by taking the control of CDCI (Compagnie de Distribution de Côte d’Ivoire), the second largest player in food distribution in Ivory Coast. It is now the number one player in the supermarket segment, the pioneer and only player in the hypercash segment, and a leader in the commercial real estate sector.
Furthermore, the Group is well positioned for a healthy growth in the coming five years as it will capitalize on the shifting retail landscape in Morocco, where the government is promoting the development of large modern retail spaces, and on the sub-Saharan expansion opportunities.
Gilles de Clerck, Executive Partner of The EuroMena Funds, mentioned on the occasion “EuroMena is proud to join the retail leader at such an important time for the group, in which it is rapidly expanding in Morocco and regionally, led by an experienced management team”.
Paul Khoury, Partner of The EuroMena Funds, added “We are confident that the group is well positioned for a healthy growth in the coming years, with the government promoting the development of modern retail and a shift in consumer behaviour towards the growing channel”.
Zouhaïr Bennani, Chief Executive Officer of Best Financière, stated “We are proud to welcome The EuroMena Funds, a leading private equity firm invested in the MEA (Middle East and Africa) region, as a shareholder of the group and in supporting the development of the company, especially its Label’Vie and Compagnie de distribution de Côte d’Ivoire subsidiaries, both leaders in their respective markets”.
EuroMena has accumulated significant experience in the retail sector through its investments in Khoury Home, the leading retailer of home appliances and electronics in Lebanon, and the Indigo Company, a Tunis based apparel retail of international brands with a strong presence in Morocco and Algeria. In line with its strategy, EuroMena will assist the top management of Retail Holding in its growth strategy in the North and Sub-Saharen Africa regions, in which the Fund enjoys a wide network and significant market knowledge.
This transaction is the fourth investment of EuroMena III following the investments in Elephant (FMCG, Nigeria), in Indigo Company (apparel retail franchising, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria), and in Credit Libanais (banking, Lebanon).
The EuroMena Fund Management Team has raised more than USD 350 million to date from prominent investors, and has closed more than 25 investments and divestments, within its target region. In June 2016, the Group completed the closing of its third fund, EuroMena III, for a total of USD 150 million, backed by commitments of top tier European institutions such as the European Investment Bank (EIB), the French Public Wealth Funds (Proparco), and the UK’s Development Finance Institution (CDC Group), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), The German Investment and Development Corporation (DEG), as well as high net worth individuals, and family offices.
EuroMena III’s mission is to invest in high growth local companies in the Middle East, North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, turn them into Regional Leading Groups, and prepare them for a profitable exit within a timeframe of 3-5 years.
In addition, The EuroMena Funds are planning on launching a Levant SME Fund and a MEA Debt Fund within the coming 6 months.