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News > Private Equity > Exits

AfricInvest and Mediterrania exit SJL to Investec

Africa Global Funds
April 10, 2017, midnight
949

Word count: 554

AfricInvest and Mediterrania Capital Partners have sold their stakes in Grupo San Jose & Lopez (SJL), a logistics and international road freight transport company with operations in the Maghreb and Europe.

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AfricInvest and Mediterrania Capital Partners have sold their stakes in Grupo San Jose & Lopez (SJL), a logistics and international road freight transport company with operations in the Maghreb and Europe.

In June 2013, AfricInvest and Mediterrania together acquired a minority stake in SJL. 

Eventually the two acquired the remainder of the company, a process completed in August 2015.

Both firms are now selling their participation to Investec Asset Management, a specialist investment manager, which is purchasing 100% of the company.

Hatim Ben Ahmed, Partner at Mediterrania Capital Partners, said: “In 2013 we saw the tremendous opportunity that SJL represented for the transport sector in the North Africa region. We are very pleased to have worked with SJL’s management and Africinvest and to have contributed to the development of a regional champion in the transport and logistics sector over the last three years,” he said.

“The sale of SJL to Investec supports the group’s future strategy in terms of product and service development and geographic expansion,” he added.

With more than 60 years of experience, SJL is now a global partner to large corporations, managing 11 logistics platforms in Europe, Morocco and Tunisia and delivering over 20,000 annual journeys between Europe and Morocco.

Under the ownership of AfricInvest and Mediterrania, SJL, which is headquartered in Tangier (Morocco) and Oiartzun (Spain), became one of the major road freight transporters between Europe and North Africa, and will soon provide transport to Western Africa. 

SJL also offers logistics, storage, and national transport services.

Under AfricInvest and MCP’s active ownership, SJL´s annual revenues increased by 38% through December 2016, while EBITDA tripled over the same period. 

The company also strengthened its presence in the Maghreb region through the development of its domestic and international road freight transport and logistics services in Morocco and expansion into new markets with the launch of SJL Tunisia.

Brahim El Jai, Senior Partner and Managing Director at Africinvest Morocco, said: “Through our partnership with Mediterrania Capital Partners, we have been pleased to help SJL grow into a financially sound and sustainable business with best-in-class management and a clear vision and trajectory for continued success.” 

“We are also delivering strong equity returns for our investors, so we could not be more satisfied with the result,” he said.

In this transaction, AfricInvest and Mediterrania Capital Partners have been advised by Lazard as financial advisor, Allen & Overy as legal advisor, and Deloitte as accounting due diligence provider.

The deal will see Investec Asset Management, together with co-investors DEG and Avanz Capital, partner with SJL’s experienced senior management team led by Group CEO Mohamed Didouch with the aim of supporting the company’s profitable growth as it expands its service offerings, client base and geographical footprint.

New capital will also be invested to accelerate a number of growth initiatives in SJL’s logistics capability and transport fleets.

Gerben Dijkstra, Investment Principal at Investec Asset Management, commented: “The buyout of SJL represents our first private equity investment in Morocco, which we see as a very attractive market. In acquiring a market leader, with a high quality service offering comparable to global operators and led by an experienced management team, we are very excited about the opportunities for it to capitalise on the rapidly growing manufacturing sectors in Morocco and become a true regional leader.”

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