ABIDJAN, July 3, 2023 – Advanced Finance and Investment Group (“AFIG Funds”), a premier African private equity fund manager, announced today the acquisition of Nouvelle Mici-Embaci (“NME” or the “Company”) from the Holea Holding (“Holea” or the “Seller”), the holding company of leading Ivorian agro-industrial conglomerate Groupe Carré d’Or.
Nouvelle Mici Embaci is a leading packaging company in Côte d’Ivoire and francophone West Africa. It was founded in 1983 and manufactures corrugated packaging as well as polypropylene bags and provides industrial printing services. NME’s customers are among the leading local and multinational companies in the region, a testament to its high-quality packaging solutions and excellent service delivery.
Following the announcement, in March 2023, of the initial debt funding from Bridge Bank Cote d’Ivoire, AFIG Funds and its equity co-investor, the Norwegian development finance institution Norfund, have worked with lending partners Bridge Bank Cote d’Ivoire and Mauritius Commercial Bank to finalize a ground breaking leveraged financing structure for the acquisition of 100% of the Company.
The transaction enables the seller, Groupe Carré d’Or to focus more on its expansion into its core businesses which include FMCG and retail. Through this major acquisition, AFIG Funds and Norfund have the opportunity to scale up a promising business anchored in a leading economy in the Francophone zone and in West Africa with the rollout of an ambitious modernization plan and regional growth strategy.
El Hadji Mohamad Ezzeddine, Group CEO of Groupe Carré d’Or firmly expressed that the Groupe Carré d’Or will continue to partner with AFIG Funds for the next five years by providing NME with all the support it needs to continue on its path of success. Mr. Emile Abi-Aad, Deputy General Manager of Holea Holding, said of the transaction: “This is the outcome of a constructive engagement to find the right partners to take over Nouvelle Mici Embaci. We are delighted to announce the sale of NME to a renowned group of investors led by AFIG Funds. They have shown us the best approach and capabilities to scale up this business. This was important to us as our conglomerate intends to remain a loyal customer of NME. ‘Passing the baton’ to an able buyer with a track record of adding value to their investments is the most logical way for us to ensure the Company’s sustained growth. We look forward to continuing to support NME in a different capacity.”
Ms. Ellen Rasmussen, Executive Vice President of Norfund’s Green Infrastructure and Scalable Enterprises, stated “Norfund is excited to invest in Nouvelle Mici Embaci alongside AFIG Funds. This investment is a strong vote of confidence in the Company’s prospects and business model. As we work to modernize NME’s operations and expand its customer base, we are looking forward to using the best international standards including but not limited to governance and sustainability as part of our commitment to job creation and the development of Cote d’Ivoire.”
“We are thrilled to have finalized the acquisition of Nouvelle Mici Embaci,” said Mr. Papa Madiaw Ndiaye, CEO of AFIG Funds. “This deal would not have been possible without the support of our investors and the trust of Holea Holding. We are excited to build on the foundation that Holea Holding has created and make NME a regional champion of the packaging industry in West Africa.”
The following actors contributed significantly to the finalization of this leveraged buyout:
- ASAFO and Co acted as legal advisors to the AFIG Funds consortium.
- Ernst & Young Cote d’Ivoire acted as financial advisor to AFIG Funds and co-investors in connection with the financial review and diligence of the Company.
- KeysFinance Partners Limited acted as a financial advisor to Holea Holding in connection with this transaction.
Notes to Editors:
About AFIG Funds (www.afigfunds.com)
Advanced Finance & Investment Group (“AFIG Funds”) is a leading private equity fund management company established in 2006 with two funds under management, the Atlantic Coast Regional Fund and AFIG Fund II. AFIG Funds makes growth equity investments across diverse sectors in West, Central, and East Africa and in companies led exclusively by African entrepreneurs and with strong impact in their economies. AFIG Funds is registered in Mauritius and headquartered in Dakar, Senegal.
About Holea Holding
Holea Holding is the holding company of the leading agro-industrial group Carré d’Or, a family-owned conglomerate with interests in FMCG, logistics, and retail industries in West Africa.
About Norfund (www.norfund.no/)
Norfund is a Norwegian development finance institution that invests in private companies in developing countries. Norfund was established in 1997 by the Norwegian government and has invested over $2 billion in over 300 companies in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Norfund’s investments are focused on sustainable sectors such as renewable energy, clean water, and agriculture. Norfund aims to create jobs, improve lives, and reduce poverty in developing countries.
About Bridge Bank Group Cote d’Ivoire (www.bridgebankgroup.com)
BBG CI started operations in Côte d’Ivoire in 2006 as an SME-focused bank and has since expanded to serve large local private and public sector companies, financial institutions, and the middle and upper class in consumer banking. BBG CI is in the process of revamping its business model towards a new customer and product niche, supported by a compelling customer service, equity base and strengthened governance. Its main objective has always been customer satisfaction through innovative and tailor-made products and services, for which it has been named the best bank in Côte d’Ivoire for customer service for four consecutive years and the best bank in Côte d’Ivoire by Global Finance Magazine three years in a row. Today, the Bridge Group offers, in addition to banking products and services through banks in Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal, brokerage and structured finance products (Bridge Securities), Asset Management (Bridge Asset Management) and financing of the informal sector and meso-finance (Bridge Micro-finance).
About Mauritius Commercial Bank (www.mcb.mu )
Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB) is Mauritius’ oldest and largest commercial bank. It was founded in 1838 and has since become a leading financial institution in the region. MCB is rated Baa3 by Moody’s Investors Service. MCB offers its customers a wide range of banking products and services, including personal banking, corporate banking, investment banking, and treasury services. MCB is committed to providing its customers with the best possible banking experience and is always looking for new ways to improve its products and services.
About Asafo & Co. (www.asafoandco.com)
Asafo & Co. is an international law firm established to deliver a unique and integrated offering of world-class legal services dedicated to Africa-related business. With experienced teams on the ground in key hubs across the African continent and a unique Pan-African footprint, Asafo & Co. has positioned itself as Africa’s leading international law firm. The team works on complex and far-reaching transactions, financings, and dispute resolution matters in various sectors, including energy (conventional and renewable), infrastructure, natural resources (mining, oil, and gas), telecommunications, banking, and financial services. Asafo & Co. regularly acts for governments, States, private investors, developers, commercial and development banks, development financial institutions, and investment funds.
About KeysFinance Partners (www.keysfinance.com)
Founded in 2014 with the support of African investors, KeysFinance Partners is a leading Investment Bank and corporate finance advisor specializing in sub-Saharan Africa. Relying on a team of experienced international finance professionals, the firm offers best-in-class services in Mergers & Acquisitions, Strategic Advisory, restructuring & capital structure, and fundraising to global and regional shareholders, institutions, governments, and individuals. KeysFinance Partners is headquartered in Mauritius, with a principal office in Abidjan.