Abraaj takes stake in Algerian logistics firm La Flèche Bleue Algérienne

The acquisition is part of the firm’s strategy to invest in emerging markets and Africa in particular.

Abraaj Group, the Middle East’s largest private equity firm, has acquired a stake in Algeria’s biggest logistics firm, La Flèche Bleue Algérienne (FBA), its first investment in the North African country, the Dubai-based firm said.

Abraaj did not disclose the size of the stake or its value. The acquisition is part of the firm’s strategy to invest in emerging markets and Africa in particular. Abraaj has put US$2.6 billion into Africa over the past two decades through 80 investments in the continent.

“Abraaj will bring significant expertise to FBA from the success of its prior investments in the global logistics sector, including Aramex in the Middle East, ARG in Mexico, Rentandes in Colombia and Crossland Logistics in South East Asia,” the firm said. “FBA will additionally benefit from Abraaj’s strong networks across the Mena region and its valuable experience in the development of regional businesses.”

Skidda-based FBA, which began operations in 2004, transports merchandise of various sectors including agribusiness, fast-moving consumer goods, the beverage industry and construction materials, Abraaj said. FBA operates through long-term contracts with global clients.

“The country’s transportation and logistics industry remains largely under-penetrated and deregulated, allowing for strong potential to drive long-term growth,” said Alexandre Hamadouche, the director at Abraaj.

Abraaj said on Tuesday it had sold a 21 per cent stake in the Egyptian private sector health care firm Integrated Diagnostics Holdings to the London-based private equity firm Actis. Abraaj is currently in a bidding war with Kellogg, the world’s biggest breakfast cereal maker, over the acquisition of Bisco Misr, the biggest publicly traded Egyptian maker of cakes and biscuits.

Abraaj owns stakes in other high-profile companies, including Egypt’s Orascom Construction, the Sharjah-based low-cost carrier Air Arabia and the supermarket chain Spinneys.

dalsaadi@thenational.ae

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Published: December 17, 2014 04:00 AM

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