Mediterrania continues exit spree with sign-off from Morocco’s C.E.C.I.

 Mediterrania continues exit spree with sign-off from Morocco’s C.E.C.I.

North Africa-focused private equity firm Mediterrania Capital Partners, which is on the road to raise its fourth fund, has struck the fifth exit from its second fund as it continues to pursue liquidity events from nearly all of the remaining portfolio companies from the same investment vehicle.

The PE firm has exited C.E.C.I. (Centrale Equipement Carrosserie Industrielle), Morocco’s leading trailer manufacturer and truck assembler via a management buyout.

Founded in 2004, C.E.C.I. operates in the truck and bus assembly, trailer and car body manufacturing and automotive spare parts business in Morocco and Algeria. The group owns a 27,000 sq. m. factory in Casablanca and three after-sales service centres in Casablanca, Agadir and Tangiers. In 2013, a local production plant was established in Algeria, expanding C.E.C.I.’s operations outside Morocco.

It is the largest player in the market and is working with major groups such as Krone, Dhollandia, Renault and Renault Trucks, AB Volvo, Ford, KIA, Webasto, Thermo King and Mitsubishi.

Mediterrania Capital Partners invested in C.E.C.I. through its second fund in November 2014. Under Mediterrania Capital Partners’ guidance, C.E.C.I. brought engineering, architecture and design services in-house enabling the development of its own body moulds for manufacturing truck body parts.

C.E.C.I. also entered new business segments with custom-built trucks, trailers and semi-trailers for specific uses such as mobile banking or health units, and developed a proprietary range of flatbed trailers manufactured in Turkey as well as a new offering for Renault and PSA passenger cars and light commercial vehicles.

This comes soon after it exited Casablanca-headquartered MedTech, an over three-decade-old group that offers IT and Communications Technologies (ICT) services through partnerships with international service providers and companies such as Oracle, IBM, Cisco and Alcatel-Lucent. Mediterrania had invested in the company in 2016 via its second fund.

Mediterrania also signed off  from Groupe Scolaire René Descartes (GSRD), a private educational group headquartered in Tunis that specialises in providing international accredited and homologated teaching programmes from pre-primary school to high school. That exit has been executed through a management buyout led by GSRD’s leadership team. Mediterrrania’s MC II fund had invested in GSRD in January 2018.

In September, Mediterrania and EuroMena monetised a Morocco consumer bet via a PE-backed MBO. This was also part of its second fund portfolio.

Last year, Mediterrania exited Moroccan money transfer firm Cash Plus, its first full exit from its second fund.

The second fund is of 2014 vintage and invested in eight companies, most of those in 2015-16.

Its other portfolio companies from the second fund include Algerian car rental company Cieptal, Tunisian wheat firm Randa, and Moroccan higher education company UPM.

Separately the PE firm ahs struck three exit moves from its third fund.

These exits put the PE firm up in a sweet spot to demonstrate liquidity from past investments as it goes about raising its fourth fund.

Mediterrania, which also has a small exposure to Francophone Africa, is looking to raise €350 million in its fourth outing.

The PE firm started in 2007 and raised €62 million for its debut fund. It then followed up with €120 million for its second fund of 2014 vintage. Mediterrania’s third PE fund had raised €200 million.

Vivek Sinha

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