Canada’s CDP Capital has partnered with the Caisse de Depot et de Gestion du Maroc (CDG) and other major Moroccan institutions to create a $30 million fund for Morocco. This venture capital fund, known as Acces Capital Atlantique SA (ACASA), will invest in Moroccan manufacturing-sector small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) involved mainly in telecommunications, information technologies (IT), agri-business, fishing and tourism.
"This partnership between CDP Capital and CDG is the extension of a business relationship built over several years, especially through CDP Advisory Services," pointed out Jean-Claude Scraire, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec (CDP) and Chairman of CDP Capital, during a press conference in Casablanca, Morocco.
Since 1998, CDP Advisory Services has been working closely with CDG on IT, portfolio management and the transfer of expertise to CDG managers. "With this new fund, CDP Capital's private equity group is making its expertise and know-how available to Moroccan SMEs, and CDG is contributing its knowledge of the local market. These combined strengths will no doubt ensure ACASA's success," Scraire added.
ACASA will promote the development of rapidly growing SMEs on the domestic and international markets. ACASA will also offer Moroccan SMEs a business solution similar to Acces Releve, a product developed by CDP Acces Capital so that entrepreneurs who want to ensure their firms' sustainability can transfer ownership to family members or company executives over the medium term.
Morocco's economy is currently undergoing substantial change, including the lowering of tariff barriers over a 10-year period. This transition period will enable Moroccan companies to prepare for the opening-up of the economy, especially for free trade with the European Community, by putting in place the structures required to export products or get ready for more intense competition.
In addition to CDP Capital and CDG, which are each investing $10 million, four other investors are jointly providing $10 million. They are Wafa Assurance, AXA Assurance, Compagnie nationale et intercontinentale d'assurance (CNIA) and Mutuelle A Marocaine D A (MAMDA).
CDP Capital is the fund manager for the Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec (CDP) and manages over $125 billion in assets. The Groupe Caisse de depot et de gestion (CDG) is a Moroccan institutional investor. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )