EuroMena buys stake
in Moroccan retailer
Two funds will be launched within six months
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Beirut-based EuroMena Funds has acquired a seven percent stake in Retail Holding, a Morocco-based diversified retail group for a total of 220 million Moroccan dirhams ($22.5 million), according to the Casablanca Stock Exchange.

Retail Holding acts as franchisee for French retail giant Carrefour, apparel retailer Kiabi, Virgin Megastore, and Burger King.

The investment, which was carried out through the fund EuroMena III, will be mainly used to finance the expansion of Retail Holding. The retail group is well positioned for a healthy growth rate in the coming five years in Morocco.

This is due to the Moroccan government promoting the development of large retail spaces in Morocco, EuroMena Funds said in a statement.

The private equity fund said it “will assist the top management of Retail Holding in its growth strategy in regions in North Africa and sub-Sahara Africa, in which the fund enjoys a wide network and significant market knowledge.”

The retail group recently took control of Compagnie de Distribution de Côte d’Ivoire (CDCI), the country’s second largest food distributor.

This is the fourth deal for EuroMena III. The fund has invested in Credit Libanais and in Elephant, a fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) company in Nigeria. It has also invested in Indigo Company, an apparel retail franchising company in Tunisia, Morocco, and Algeria.

EuroMena also said it plans to launch two new funds within the coming six months, Levant SME Fund and MEA Debt Fund.

Levant SME Fund will invest in the equity of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Lebanon and Jordan and would later invest in Syria too if the situation there improves, said Paul Khoury, Partner at the EuroMena Funds.

This fund will not target any specific sector, the SMEs could be operating in any line of business, he said.

The MEA Debt Fund will provide mezzanine financing to companies in the Middle East and Africa, Khoury said.

Mezzanine debt financing is a subordinated debt that is senior only to common shares.

EuroMena III has a capital of $150 million backed by commitments from international financial institutions, high net worth individuals, and family offices. The financial institutions include the European Investment Bank (EIB), France’s Proparco, the UK’s Development Finance Institution (CDC Group), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the German Investment and Development Corporation (DEG).

The EuroMena Fund Management Team has raised more than $350 million so far and has closed more than 25 investments and divestments.
Reported by Shikrallah Nakhoul
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Date Posted: Jun 22, 2017