Investec Asset Management has acquired Grupo San Jose & Lopez, a major road freight transporter between North Africa and Europe, in an undisclosed private equity secondary deal. The transaction, which is the fifth for Investec Africa Private Equity Fund 2, gives fellow-private equity investors AfricInvest and Mediterrania Capital Partners full exits from their stakes in the logistics operator.
Having invested in J&J in Mozambique on behalf of their 2008-vintage first fund, the logistics sector is one with which Investec is well-acquainted and has a high level of interest in. With Morocco’s strong macro fundamentals, Grupo San Jose & Lopez’s (SJL) successful operational track record and management team, Investec’s betting that the business is well-positioned to continue to achieve significant organic growth in the coming years.
AfricInvest and Mediterrania Capital Partners first backed SJL in mid-2013, joining forces to take a minority stake in the company. Eventually, the two firms acquired the remainder of the company, completing the deal to assume full ownership in August 2015. During the ownership period, SJL’s revenues have grown by some 38% cumulatively, with EBITDA tripling over the same period.
According to Brahim El Jai, a Senior Partner at AfricInvest, the transaction is delivering strong returns to the sellers’ funds’ investors, adding that they have been “…pleased to help SJL grow into a financially sound and sustainable business with best-in-class management…”. In addition to capital, SJL’s evolution into a regional champion has benefited from its investors’ strong local presence and operational participation which, among other things, has helped the successful implementation of the business’ strategic initiatives and the effective reorganization of SJL’s management team.
Gerben Dijkstra and Nick Marsh led the deal for Investec. Following this transaction, Investec Africa Private Equity Fund 2 is now a little over 50% invested. With planned follow-on commitments and the fund’s current pipeline of deals, it’s expected to be 70% invested by the end of 2017. The fund held its final close in February 2016, landing a total of $295 million in commitments. SJL becomes the fund’s fifth asset, joining IHS, IDM, wiGroup and Mobisol in the fund’s portfolio.
Allen & Overy acted as legal advisors to the sellers, with Lazard providing financial advice and Deloitte acting as accounting due diligence provider.
Investec’s internal team undertook a large proportion of the transaction’s execution requirements for their side of the deal. Eversheds, with local support from CWA Law, provided Investec with additional legal advisory services while Mazars provided financial and taxation due diligence services for the transaction.