ECP Buys Into North African Construction Sector

Emerging Capital Partners has acquired control positions in two North African construction companies: Shoresal and Almes. The total equity investment was $26.2 million.

PRESS RELEASE
Emerging Capital Partners (ECP), an international private equity firm focused on investing across the African continent, announced today that it has acquired controlling stakes in two North African construction sector businesses. The equity investments in Shoresal and Almes, totaling USD $26.2 million, are part of ECP’s strategy to expand its North Africa portfolio.

“ECP has invested in various African engineering and construction companies since 2006, and we have long been evaluating opportunities in the North African market,” said Thomas Gibian, chief executive officer of ECP. “Unlike many western markets, North African real estate and construction is generally driven by a lack of supply to meet the increasing demand from both foreign and domestic companies.”

In Algeria, ECP has acquired a USD $13.8 million stake in Shoresal, a real estate development company. Shoresal will use ECP’s investment, in part, to finance the development of a 14-story Class A office tower in the Bab Ezzouar business district of Algiers. Recent research has shown that demand for office space in Algeria’s major cities is approximately eight times greater than the current supply. This imbalance has been driven by a significant increase in the number of multinational companies operating in the country, which has tripled since 2000.

In Morocco, ECP has invested USD $12.4 million in Almes – the holding company of Entreprise Marocaine de Travaux (EMT) and Somadiaz. EMT is a construction company specializing in public works infrastructure projects such as dams, levees and airports. Somadiaz is an equipment leasing company that provides specialized equipment to commercial and industrial clients. EMT and Somadiaz will use ECP’s investment to extend the scope of their business offerings in Morocco as well as expand into neighboring countries – such as Libya and Mauritania – where demand for public works and other construction services are also high. ECP made this investment in partnership with Alliances Développement Immobilier, a leading integrated real estate and tourism group in Morocco.

“ECP views the construction markets across North Africa as uniquely poised for growth,” said Vincent Le Guennou, executive vice president of ECP. “We believe the strong supply and demand imbalance in the sector is a compelling reason to invest.”

The investment in Almes was made through the Moroccan Infrastructure Fund, a joint venture between ECP and Attijariwafa bank, one of North Africa’s leading financial institutions. The fund was established in December 2006 to capitalize on the ongoing reforms that are spurring economic growth in Morocco. It targets numerous sectors including telecoms, transportation, energy, and power and water.

Shoresal marks ECP’s fifth investment in Algeria, where the firm has invested in the financial services, consumer goods and telecommunications sectors. The investment was made through ECP’s MENA Growth Fund LLC, which was established in September 2007 to capitalize on investment opportunities throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

ABOUT ECP

Emerging Capital Partners (ECP) is the first private equity firm to raise more than $1.6 billion to invest in companies across the African continent. The ECP team has a nine-year track record of pan-African investing. The firm’s investment strategy is focused on delivering consistently above-market returns to investors that are uncorrelated to the U.S. and other global economies. For more information, please see www.ecpinvestments.com.