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Amethis exits CDCI to Groupe Retail Holding

Anna Lyudvig
Oct. 7, 2019, 10:06 p.m.
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Amethis has sold its minority stake in Compagnie de Distribution de Côte d'Ivoire (CDCI) to Groupe Retail Holding, a Moroccan group that holds several modern distribution franchises in Morocco.

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Amethis has sold its minority stake in Compagnie de Distribution de Côte d'Ivoire (CDCI) to Groupe Retail Holding, a Moroccan group that holds several modern distribution franchises in Morocco.

"Sub-Saharan Africa is an undeniable growth driver for Morocco, we are pleased to have contributed to the deployment of a Moroccan strategic player in Côte d'Ivoire," said Laurent Demey, Partner at Amethis.

Acquired in 2002 by the Ivorian-Lebanese entrepreneur Yasser Ezzedine, CDCI is now the second-largest food retailer in Côte d'Ivoire with a network of 150 stores.

The Company is present with both the King Cash brand and the CDCI brand and, above all, targets the middle and working classes by leveraging its broad geographical coverage with more than 50% of stores outside Abidjan.

In 2014, the entry of Retail Holding and Amethis into CDCI shareholding enabled the Group to modernize and expand its distribution network with the opening of more than 20 stores across the country.

The financial support provided also enabled CDCI to strategically reposition its retail business, rebrand its King Cash brand and renovate its existing stores.

Through this partnership, the Company's infrastructure has been strengthened to anticipate and support its future development.

In September 2019, in line with its initial exit strategy from this investment, Amethis sold its entire stake in CDCI to Retail Holding, which thus became the company's majority shareholder.

"Thanks to the partnership with Amethis and Yasser Ezzedine, we were able to start our expansion in sub-Saharan Africa while pursuing our growth in Morocco. We strongly believe in the development potential of modern distribution in Africa," said Zouhaïr Bennani, President of Retail Holding Group.

The pioneer of modern distribution in French-speaking West Africa, and founder of Sococé, the first shopping centre, in Abidjan, in 1995, Yasser Ezzedine, said that "Amethis will remain a unique, faithful and sincere partner in its approach to supporting entrepreneurs on the continent."

Khady Kone-Dicoh, Investment Director at Amethis, adds: "We are proud to have supported a visionary entrepreneur such as Yasser Ezzedine over the past five years and to have accompanied an Ivorian leader in the food retail sector in this decisive phase of its development. We are also pleased to have contributed to the regional integration of a leading Moroccan player."

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