[Tunisia] SOKOTRA Capital acquires L'Aquaculture Tunisienne
SOKOTRA Capital, a Dubai-based private investment company specializing in the agriculture and aquaculture sectors, has announced that a SOKOTRA Capital led consortium has completed the acquisition of 100% of AT, one of the oldest and most established companies in the aquaculture sector in North Africa and the Mediterranean basin.
Founded in 1988 by Si M'hamed Driss, one of the leading businessmen in North Africa, AT, based in Sousse, is the largest seabass and seabream hatchery and nursery in North Africa, with a current annual production capacity of twenty million fingerlings and 1,500 tons of fish per year, mainly seabass and seabream.
AT has successfully served the local and export markets for seabass and seabream over the past thirty years and has an established reputation for delivering high quality fingerlings, backed by a skilled and dedicated management and operational team.
The acquisition of AT is another opportunity for SOKOTRA Capital to reiterate its investment strategy focused on the highly promising agriculture and aquaculture sectors (long term sustainable businesses with strong growth characteristics). SOKOTRA Capital is building a portfolio of investments in these sectors, both in Africa and in South East Asia.
Albert Momdjian, Founder and CEO of SOKOTRA Capital said, "We are extremely pleased with this acquisition. After having reviewed several opportunities in this sector, we decided to focus on AT because of its growth potential and its unique value proposition.
AT has a highly skilled team with extensive and unrivalled experience in the industry. Tunisia remains, and despite the recent challenges, a very attractive and friendly destination for foreign direct investments. We sincerely hope that this will be the start of a significant expansion for us, and for other investment firms, in Tunisia. Recent positive developments on the ground could represent a catalyst for further economic developments. We have very ambitious plans for AT and we hope to better service the local market in terms of fingerlings, but also to better position AT as a highly reliable producer of quality seabass and seabream fingerlings to the rest of North Africa as well as, in due course, to the Mediterranean basin. We fully acknowledge the responsibility of pursuing the path of investment made over 30 years ago, by a leading and pioneering investor, namely Si M'hamed Driss."
"We are pursuing additional investments in the strategic agriculture and aquaculture sectors. It is all about efficiency and about feeding the growing population. The protein race has already started and we are very well positioned as a firm and as a team to benefit from it. Back to basics is the way to go, going forward," added Albert Momdjian.
Karim Garnaoui, CEO of AT said, "This is an exciting new chapter for AT, building on the achievements of the past three decades and having successfully navigated a challenging time for the aquaculture sector over the past few years."
"Today, and backed by the new investors, AT has the capacity to become one of the leading Mediterranean basin aquaculture companies. The in-depth knowledge of the industry, supported by the strong financial and strategic capabilities of the new investors, can only propel AT to become one of the best companies in the sector. This transaction has been successfully completed thanks to the professionalism, support and commitment of the SOKOTRA Capital team who have demonstrated on numerous occasions their technical and operational expertise in restructuring the company," added Karim Garnaoui.
"We are very pleased to pass the helm of AT to the SOKOTRA Capital led consortium and we do strongly believe in their capabilities to complete and further develop the vision of Si M'hamed Driss," stated Meriem Driss, one of the selling shareholders representatives.