The pan-African Argan Infrastructure Fund (ARIF) has acquired a 20 % stake Mass Cereals Al Maghreb, a subsidiary of the Moroccan group Holmarcom.
The fund, which counts among its sponsors with RMA Wataniya, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), has become the second investor to take a stake in the company, since the Invivo Group, the first agricultural cooperative group in France in terms of revenue, with €6.1 billion in 2012, had already taken a 20% stake in Al Mass Cereals Maghreb.
The company, which is involved in the unloading and storage of grain at the ports of Casablanca and Jorf Lasfar, may, through this investment, continue its international expansion by strengthening its presence on the continent. The new partners have building grain handling facilities in foreign ports.
Argan Infrastructure Fund (ARIF), a vehicle managed by the Moroccan-based affiliate of Argan, Infra Invest, has €77 million to invest in infrastructure projects. Argan Invest is owned by Finance.com, a diversified investment holding company which is a controlling shareholder of BMCE Bank, a Casablanca Stock Exchange-listed entity.
The fund will invest 40% of its assets in Morocco, 30% in the other countries of North Africa and the remaining 30% in Sub-saharic Africa. The sectors on which the fund will focus are Energy and Water utilities as well as environment related sectors. The average size of each investment ticket is MAD 100 million with the possibility of reaching MAD 500 million.
The fund has a committed capital target size of €150-200 million.