18 January 2016
• Under the Lilas brand, SAH is the market leader in the disposable personal care products segment in Tunisia

• Partnership will focus on strengthening the company's market position in core region and expansion into Sub-Saharan Africa

Tunis, Tunisia, 18 January 2016: The Abraaj Group ('Abraaj' or the 'Group'), a leading investor operating in global growth markets, today announced the acquisition, through its second generation North Africa Fund ('ANAF II'), of a stake in Société d'Articles Hygiéniques ('SAH' or the 'Company'), a leading producer of disposable household and personal care products for babies, women and adults in Tunisia. Abraaj acquired a 49% stake in JM Holding, the company that holds a majority share in SAH. SAH is listed on the Tunisian Stock Exchange. 

Founded in 1994 by Mr. Mounir El Jaiez and Ms. Jalila Mezni, SAH is today a household name for quality and affordable personal care products in Tunisia and other North African markets. The Company produces baby and adult diapers, feminine sanitary pads and household products such as paper towels, tissues and toilet paper through six production plants including a cellulose wadding plant. In Tunisia, SAH is the biggest player in the baby diapers segment with a market share of c. 60%, and currently exports to 18 countries across Africa.

Abraaj and SAH are partnering to consolidate the Company's market position and expand its footprint across Sub-Saharan Africa by enhancing its distribution models, improving production efficiency and focusing on product innovation. With Abraaj's support, the Company plans to build manufacturing plants in Western Africa to facilitate its growth. From a health, environmental and governance perspective, Abraaj will work with SAH to enhance safety standards and environmental performance in the production plants, and further institutionalize the business by enhancing its management processes and reporting mechanisms. 

Population growth has driven the demand for affordable, high quality household and personal care products in Africa and this upward trend is further boosted by higher disposable incomes and evolving consumer habits. The target markets for SAH's expansion include the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA), representing a total addressable market of US$ 480 million with a projected average annual growth of 10% and 11% respectively.   

Commenting on the transaction, Ahmed Badreldin, Partner and Regional Head for Middle East and North Africa at The Abraaj Group, said: "With more than a decade of investing in Africa, Abraaj has substantial experience growing businesses across the continent, with a particularly strong track record in consumer businesses. Fuelled by rising disposable income and market necessity, the opportunity for household and personal care products in Africa is poised to grow even further. We believe SAH is in an excellent position to benefit from this opportunity through strategic expansion and product diversification."  

Adel Goucha, Managing Director at The Abraaj Group, added: "We are impressed with SAH's management team, led by Ms. Jalila Mezni, and the Company's strong track record since inception. SAH possesses a strong brand in Tunisia, and together, we intend to continue building the Lilas brand across Africa. We look forward to leveraging our global network and experience in the consumer sector to support SAH in actively driving its growth agenda from both a strategic and operational capacity."  

Jalila Mezni, Founder and CEO of SAH, added: "This is an opportune time for us to further expand across Africa. We will continue to augment our management team and enhance our distribution network to support our expansion, in addition to focusing on product innovation to develop high quality household and personal care products for babies, women and adults.

We are confident that Abraaj is the ideal partner to help us achieve our goals."  

Since 2006, Abraaj has helped pioneer the development of the private equity industry in the Middle East and North Africa. Recent investments include leading app-based car service Careem, Moroccan oncology and imaging diagnostic centers Al Kindy and Clinique Menara, and Egyptian education provider Tiba Group. Abraaj has four investments in Tunisia including the North Africa Hospital Holdings Group, a healthcare platform to enhance the quality and accessibility of healthcare in Egypt and Tunisia, and L'Accumulateur Tunisien ASSAD, a leading battery manufacturer. 


The Abraaj Group ("Abraaj" or "the Group") is a leading private equity investor, purpose-built for operating in the growth markets of Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Turkey. 

Employing over 300 people, Abraaj has over 20 offices spread across five regions with hubs in Dubai, Istanbul, Mexico City, Nairobi and Singapore. The Group currently manages c. US$ 9 billion across regional, sector and country-specific Funds. 

Abraaj has realized c. US$ 5.4 billion from 80 full and partial exits, and Funds managed by the Group have made over 140 investments across a range of sectors including consumer, energy, financials, healthcare and utilities. The Group is committed to the highest environmental, stakeholder engagement and corporate governance standards and is a signatory to the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment and the United Nations Global Compact. Abraaj's founder, Arif Naqvi, was appointed to the United Nations Global Compact Board by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2012 and to the Interpol Foundation Board in 2014. 

This publication is issued by Abraaj Capital Limited ("ACLD" or the "Firm"), a member of The Abraaj Group that is authorized and regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority ("DFSA"). Several Group members are regulated by a number of international regulatory authorities including the DFSA under whose rules ACLD has issued this publication.

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For more information please contact: 
Mitali Atal 
Director - Communications 
The Abraaj Group 
T: + 971 45064588 
E: mitali.atal@abraaj.com 

Grace Chaoui 
T: +971 556329593 
E: grace.chaoui@finsbury.com

© Press Release 2016