Tuninvest, one of the leading private equity houses in North and sub-Saharan Africa, has completed the closing of the Maghreb Private Equity Fund II (MPEF II) with total commitments of €125 million.
MPEF II, the largest fund ever raised dedicated to SMEs in the Maghreb region, builds on the success of its predecessor MPEF I and includes new investors from Europe, the United States and the Middle East. Investors in previous Tuninvest funds have reinforced their confidence in Tuninvest by committing larger amounts of capital to the new Fund: these include IFC, EIB, FMO, BIO, SIFEM, Proparco and Caisse des Dépôts France.
Tuninvest’s performance to date has enabled the Group to widen its investor base to attract a number of new international investors, who are committing to a Fund targeting this region for the first time. These investors include the African Development Bank; CDC Group Plc (a fund-of-funds linked to the UK government); Financiere Oceor (an affiliate of Caisse d’Epargne France); a number of funds–of-funds (based in the US, France, and Switzerland); and a renowned family office in the Middle East.
Tuninvest and its affiliates (MarocInvest, MaghrebInvest Algeria), with their unique presence in the region, will invest the Fund in indigenous SMEs with a turnover of between €10 million and €50 million. These investments will be made in a range of business sectors, including manufacturing and agribusiness; packaging; telecommunications and technology; transport; petrochemical and plastics; pharmaceutical products; construction materials; financial services; energy production; education; and health. The Fund will target businesses with strong growth prospects and the potential to grow into regional champions.
The Fund will be invested in equity and quasi-equity through capital development transactions, minority acquisitions and buy outs. Tuninvest will also seek to draw on the expertise of established foreign businesses by attracting foreign direct investments in its portfolio companies through joint-ventures. MPEF II has already approved new investments for a total of €58 million in companies based in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia.
Tuninvest is today one of the top fund managers in the Maghreb and in Sub-Saharan Africa, with more than 14 years of local private equity experience, an extensive knowledge of the region and a strong track record of delivering high returns. With US $350 million currently under management in the region, the Group has already carried out 65 investments and made 27 exits, with a track record of above-average returns and high exit multiples.
Commenting on the fund closing, Ziad Oueslati and Aziz Mebarek, founding partners of Tuninvest, said: “The unprecedented size of the Fund and the high calibre of investor illustrate underline growing investor appetite for North Africa. For the past 14 years we have demonstrated that, with local expertise, the Maghreb region offers an exciting prospect for investors who are looking outside the established markets.
“Tuninvest has worked hard to secure the support of a large pool of experienced investors for the new Fund. We are particularly pleased to have secured the commitment of new investors from the public sphere and, for the first time, we have the backing of major Western financial institutions. This is a sure sign that these investors have every confidence in the Maghreb region and Tuninvest’s ability to deliver attractive returns.
“We are very happy to be continuing our relationships with many of our long-standing investors - we view the fact that investors from MPEF I have committed larger amounts of capital to this new Fund as a show of confidence in Tuninvest and the region.
“The Fund will focus on enhancing profitability and operating performances in businesses that have the potential to become regional champions in North Africa and the Mediterranean region.”