Abraaj Capital, a private equity and alternative asset management group in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA), have announced its acquisition of the North African private equity platform of Amundi, the French asset manager jointly owned by Société Générale and Crédit Agricole.
Under the terms of the agreement, Abraaj Capital has taken over management of the USD 161 million SGAM Al Kantara Fund, as well as, absorbing the 11-member Amundi investment team, thereby enhancing its presence in North Africa.
Abraaj Capital also acquires Amundi’s stake in the Kantara Fund. With five existing investments in Morocco and Tunisia, and pursuing an active pipeline of investment opportunities across North Africa, the Kantara Fund is a buyout and expansion capital fund, primarily focused on small and mid-cap investment opportunities in North Africa.
The acquisition includes fully staffed offices in Morocco and Tunisia. A further office is in the process of being established in Algeria.
The acquisition complements the mandate of Riyada Enterprise Development (RED), the small and medium enterprise (SME) investment platform of the Abraaj group, that is focused on investing in SMEs in the broader Middle East and North Africa region (MENA), including Turkey and Pakistan.
Through the RED investment platform, Abraaj Capital intends to invest more than USD 500 million of capital into small and medium enterprises right across the MENA region.
Tom Speechley, Senior Partner at Abraaj Capital Limited and Chief Executive Officer of RED, said, “This investment demonstrates our commitment to unlocking the economic potential of the Maghreb – a rapidly emerging growth region with favourable demographics and significant long-term economic development opportunities. At Abraaj Capital, we believe that the SME segment offers among the best investment opportunities in the MENA region today as well as providing the greatest opportunity for job creation, economic growth and diversification. During this transitional period in North Africa, we believe it is critically important to encourage SMEs as they serve as the key drivers of the region’s new economic growth”.
SME Advisor Middle East is aimed at business owners and senior executives across the GCC. Armed with practical advice, it has been highlighting key business issues for the small and medium enterprise segment since its launch in 2005.