January 11, 2016
Abraaj Group announced Monday that it has acquired a minority stake in Algerian leading baby diapers and feminine sanitary products maker, Cellulose Processing, CEPRO.

The investment, made through the private equity firm’s North Africa Fund II (ANAF II), presents the firm with an opportunity to get ahead of the pack in one of North Africa’s  high disposable incomes economies and growing consumer markets.

Rising disposable incomes and recent rise in new births in 2014 have helped spur growth in the consumer-consumption market in the country- particularly in the baby-products segment. Algeria has one of the highest market shares of the baby diaper segment in North Africa and globally-29 percent compared to 35 percent in North Africa and 61 percent globally.

The investment also marks the firm’s second investment in Algeria. In 2014 through its North Africa Fund I, Abraaj invested in La Fièche Bleue Algérienne, a transportation and logistics services company.

Tapping into its local teams and investment knowledge bank, Abraaj said it plans to diversify CEPRO’s current product offerings, leverage the investment firm’s proven expertise of the North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa markets to spur increase in economic growth, production outcomes as well as improve efficiency to enhance CEPRO’s distribution networks and partnerships across Algeria and the rest of Africa.

The Dubai-based investment firm currently has a dedicated team of 14 investment and operating professionals throughout North Africa, with 96 percent of its investments in the region having been sourced by its local teams.

CEPRO, which brands include Finesse feminine sanitary products, BBcool baby diapers, and Poupoune baby diapers, was founded by Djamal Mehri in 2003.

Over the last 10 years, Mehri built CEPRO from a local business to become one of the leading national baby diaper manufacturer in Algeria, employing more than 300 people.

Mehri said Abraaj’s investment in CEPRO will allow the company to move to the next phrase of growth.

“We believe this is an opportune time for CEPRO to expand its footprint nationally and regionally by offering the most advanced products to our clients. our group recognizes Abraaj’s deep experience in North Africa and its successful track record of developing FMCG businesses in growth markets globally. Together, we are confident of successfully executing our next phrase of growth and look forward to a successful partnership,” Mehri said.

CEPRO, which currently operates with robust corporate governance mechanisms, will look also to further upgrade its Enterprise Resource Planning system and reporting platform.

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