Investing to expand leading Ivorian packaging company

May 25, 2023

Norfund and Advances Finance and Investment Group (AFIG Funds) announce the joint acquisition of Nouvelle Mici Embaci (NME) to scale up its operations and roll out an ambitious modernization plan and regional growth strategy.

Nouvelle Mici Embaci, a subsidiary of Carré d’Or Group, is a leading packaging company in Côte d’Ivoire and Francophone West Africa. It was founded in 1983 and manufactures corrugated packaging as well as polypropylene bags and provides industrial printing services. NME’s customers are among the leading local and multinational companies in the region, a testament to the Company high-quality packaging solutions and excellent service delivery. NME directly employs over 1,000 people and is a leader in recycled paper-based packaging.

NME has demonstrated resilience over the years, recording growth and profitability despite the global shocks of Covid-19 pandemic and heightened tension in Europe.

Norfund and AFIG Funds have partnered with Bridge Bank Cote d’Ivoire and Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB) to provide necessary acquisition financing and working capital facilities to scale the business to its next growth phase.

The co-investors will partner with the existing management team as they continue to grow the business and expand its portfolio of packaging solutions.  

This acquisition will aim to modernise NME’s operations and expand its customer base while instituting international standards in corporate governance and environmental sustainability. We are excited and proud to be part of such a landmark transaction for the industry in the Cote d’Ivoire as well as for the West African region

Fabrice Mpollo, Investment Manager, Norfund.

Carré d’Or Group will remain  a strategic customer of NME in the long term and will provide necessary support as may be required post-acquisition.

“This is the outcome of a constructive engagement to find the right partners to take over Nouvelle Mici Embaci. We are delighted to announce the sale of NME to a renowned group of investors. They have shown us the best approach and capabilities to scale up this business. This was important to us as our conglomerate intends to remain a loyal customer of NME. ‘Passing the baton’ to an able buyer with a track record of adding value to their investments is the most logical way for us to ensure the Company’s sustained growth. We look forward to continuing to support NME in a different capacity.”

Mr. Emile Abi-Aad, Deputy General Manager of Carré d’Or Group

The local corrugated paper market is estimated at 80,000 tons annually and is growing at approximately 10% per year, boosted by population growth, change in consumption habits, and higher demand in packaging as a result of industrial investments and growth in hyper-distribution, which indicate positive outlook for market players.

This investment is our first in the Ivorian manufacturing sector and represents an important opportunity to support the management team to continue to serve as a key supplier partner and provider of high-quality solutions to many companies in the Ivorian and francophone West African markets. We look forward, along with AFIG, to supporting the management team to drive sustainable growth and expansion, to further institutionalize, and to scale its recycling capacity and thus contribute to the development of a circular economy within the region”

Naana Winful Fynn, Regional Director for West Africa, Norfund

“We are pleased with this acquisition of NME and our partnership with Norfund, Bridge Bank Cote d’Ivoire and Mauritius Commercial Bank. Innovation in the African financial system requires vision and perseverance, but this deal would not have been possible without the support and patience of our investors in AFIG Fund II, as well as the trust of a discerning seller in Carré d’Or Group. Now the real work begins to leverage on the building blocks put in place by Carré d’Or Group and implement new growth initiatives to fulfil the Company’s potential to be a true regional champion in the packaging industry.”

Mr. Papa Madiaw Ndiaye, CEO of AFIG Funds
Recycling is the gate to Heaven!