AfricInvest exits Général Emballage Algeria to DPI and DEG

September 30, 2016

AfricInvest’s Maghreb Private Equity Fund II (MPEF II) has successfully concluded its exit from Général Emballage, a leader in the manufacturing and processing of corrugated cardboard based in Algeria, to a consortium of Development Partners International (DPI) and DEG.

Under the agreement, AfricInvest and the original founders, the Batouche family, have sold a 49% stake in Général Emballage for a total amount of approximately $55m.

Général Emballage (GE) is Algeria’s leading cardboard manufacturer and processor and has a well-diversified blue-chip client base, with more than 1,000 clients in various sectors, ranging from international businesses such as Henkel, Coca-Cola and Heineken to local businesses active across the food processing, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, and household appliances and electronics sectors.

AfricInvest first invested in Général Emballage in 2009 to support its sponsor and founding partner, Ramadan Batouche in the execution of an ambitious business plan which allowed the company to develop leading-edge printing and cutting technology.

Over the course of AfricInvest’s partnership with the company, GE was able to generate impressive growth, increasing its turnover and EBITDA by five and eight times, respectively.

GE also put in place an export network with its first commercial base in Tunis.

Ramdane Batouche, Général Emballage Founding Partner and Manager, said: “My first experience with a private equity fund was with Africinvest. We have worked extremely well together over the past seven years and I am happy to see what GE has been able to achieve in terms of value creation and growth. I am also excited to partner with DPI and DEG in order to continue our growth in other regions of the African continent.”

In addition to its attractive financial returns, the partnership between Batouche and AfricInvest has also led to important development impacts.

Général Emballage’s personnel numbers have increased from 510 employees at the time of investment, to more than 1,170 staff today (a multiple of 2.3x), while the overall payroll has increased four times.

The company has led several tree-planting campaigns to draw attention to the risks of deforestation.

Moreover, GE has partnered with the University of Béjaia to launch a degree program that includes specialized training in the packaging industry.

Yazid Taalba, Senior Partner and Managing Director of Africinvest Algeria, said: “We are both proud and honored to have joined forces with Ramdane Batouche to help Général Emballage achieve such impressive growth. The company is now the unchallenged leader in Algeria and among the major African players in its sector.”

“For the past seven years, our partnership with Général Emballage has been strong, supported by the professionalism, commitment and loyalty of its team and setting a good example for the industrial sector in Algeria. We express our best wishes of success and further growth to GE and are delighted to handover to DPI and DEG,” he said.

Development Partners International has acquired stake in GE through its ADP II fund, which closed in March 2015, at $725m.

DPI Partner, said: “We see a tremendous growth opportunity for Général Emballage not only in Algeria but also through expansion in African and Mediterranean markets. The business is set to continue its strong track record of growth and profitability and consolidate its position as Algeria’s leading player in the corrugated cardboard packaging sector. We are very pleased to partner Founder Ramdane Batouche and his high-quality management team and to support the business in its future growth story in Algeria and Africa.”

Batouche added: “Our company has grown to become the leading player in its industry over the last 10 years and is strongly positioned to capitalise on the favourable macro trends driving demand for cardboard packaging in Algeria and the region.”

“After a successful partnership at different levels with AfricInvest we are delighted to welcome DPI as a new shareholder and believe partnering with DPI will allow us to continue our strong organic growth in Algeria and further expand into new markets in Africa. We particularly appreciate DPI’s proven experience of working with family-owned businesses and its deep understanding of the Algerian and African markets,” he said. Source: Africa Global Funds