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MCP II backs private Moroccan university

Mediterrania Capital Partners, an Africa-focused private equity fund manager, is taking a significant minority stake in Université Privée de Marrakech (UPM) through MCP II, its second, €120 million fund which closed in August 2015. The stake was acquired from UPM’s founder, Mohammed Kabadj.

Daniel Viñas, the partner who led the deal on behalf of Mediterrania Capital, will take a seat on UPM’s Board of Directors. While no further details of the transaction were disclosed, Mediterrania Capital typically targets growing SMEs with an equity value ranging from €25 million to €400 million which have growth ambitions in both North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.

In March 2014, the company received a $20 million investment from Development Partners International (DPI) to help it achieve its growth objectives in both Morocco as well as the broader sub-Saharan African region. It’s expected that MCP II’s investment will be used to further support these objectives.

UPM, which was founded in 2005, has grown into one of Morocco’s largest providers of private higher education, now operating from several campuses. The university offers undergraduate, graduate and masters programs in a number of major fields including management and governance, tourism and hospitality management engineering, health sciences, sports management and the arts.

“The recent demographic transition and urbanization of the population together with various government plans has helped create a favorable environment for an improved education system in Morocco,” said Daniel Viñas, the partner leading the transaction on behalf of Mediterrania Capital. “We believe it is the right time for Mediterrania Capital to enter the education market, and UPM, with its highly reputed programmes and faculty members and modern facilities, is the ideal partner to do so successfully.”

Law firm Dentons provided Mediterrania Capital with legal advice while Deloitte provided financial advisory services for the transaction.

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