Morocco — October 2015 : Intaj Capital II (Intaj II) has just become a shareholder of the Moroccan firm Venezia Ice, one of the main operators in the field of production and distribution of artisanal gelato and pastry. Managed by Swicorp, a financial advisory and private equity firm operating in the MENA region, the fund Intaj Capital II plans to inject more than MAD 125 million in the capital of Venezia Ice. As such, the fund will hold a minority strategic stake in the Moroccan group, alongside the Bougrines, the founding family. “Swicorp’s financial, intellectual and networking capabilities will contribute to consolidate our position and accelerate our international growth through the expansion of our catalogue of products intended for export as well as through a direct presence in a number of markets,” Venezia Ice’s CEO Sghir Bougrine told the Moroccan daily L’Economiste. This fundraising is part of the implementation of an investment programme aimed at increasing the ice-cream manufacturer’s market share while accelerating its international expansion strategy.
Focus on export
The funds raised will be used for the expansion of the group’s industrial capacity, through the launch of a new production line and the introduction of a new range of products, part of which will be destined for export. Moreover, the stake acquisition will enable the group to strengthen its distribution network through the opening of over 15 new own-brand outlets at the national level within the next three years.
Established in 2000 with a first investment of MAD 9 million, the group operates out of two production sites (Bouskoura and Nouaceur) allowing it to meet the needs of the local and the international markets. “Through this investment programme, the Venezia Ice group will create more than 250 direct jobs over the next three years,” said the Group’s CEO. The company currently has 39 outlets of which 15 company-owned and generates sales of circa MAD 58 million. “This investment reflects Swicorp’s aim to strengthen its activities in Morocco, which is now part of the group’s main target markets in the MENA region for the private equity activity,” said Nabil Triki, Head of Swicorp’s private equity business. Swicorp is active in the fields of private equity, advisory and asset management. Swicorp is located in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Tunisia and South Africa. Swicorp Private Equity has raised close USD 1.5 billion since 2006 and has more than USD 1 billion in assets under management.
The investment bank Ascent Capital Partners has acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Venezia Ice group for this transaction.