Emerging markets focused private equity firm, the Abraaj group said it has invested in African Industrial Services Group, one of African engineering services and component manufacturer and distribution companies, through one of its funds .
The financials of the deal were undisclosed. However, the firms said the investment will provide AIS with the capital it needs to expand its service offering to both existing and new customers, as well as upgrade its inventory management system across its West African footprint.
“The timing of the investment of The Abraaj Group neatly complements our planned growth strategy; We recognize Abraaj’s experience in developing regional businesses and welcome their support and added expertise as we increase our production capacity and expand our footprint both within Cote d’Ivoire and across the region,” said Alain Mominé, chief executive officer of African Industrial Services Group. “We look forward to having Abraaj join our board and working closely together to position AIS as the leading, value-added, full-service engineering solutions firm in West Africa.”
Abraaj’s inaugural investment in Cote d’Ivoire is part of a post-war investment renaissance that the country is experiencing following many years of civil war. In August of this year, the International Finance Corp. created a $267 million fund to aid in the expansion of Compagnie Ivoirienne de Production d’Électricité (CIPREL) thermal power plant in the country, which will provide access to energy for the nation citizens and businesses.
“We feel this is the perfect time for our inaugural deal in Cote d’Ivoire. The country requires the support of new investors to assist in the reconstruction of a healthy and sustainable economic environment,” said Jacob Kholi, Partner at The Abraaj Group.
Headquartered in Cote d’Ivoire, AIS provides end-to-end solutions for the engineering industry such as agro-processing, infrastructure, mining and telecoms. With cash injection, the company plans to focus on developing four core areas of its business: product range extension, geographical expansion, the consolidation of new markets, and in-house production capacity increase across its West Africa operations in eight countries in which it is currently established, including Benin, Togo, Guinea, Senegal, Burkina Faso and its recently launched branches in Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Commenting on the transaction, Kodjo Aziagbe, Managing Director at The Abraaj Group, said: “We are very optimistic about our first investment in Cote d’Ivoire. We believe the industrial services sector is, in particular, witnessing rising domestic and regional demand for more affordable, locally produced components, and therefore exhibits solid potential to drive long-term growth through product innovation, improved penetration and channel expansion.”
The company was founded in 2001 by Alain Mominé, a mechanical engineer.