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ECP targets North African real estate and infrastructure

The Washington DC-based private equity firm has acquired controlling stakes in property developer Shoresal and infrastructure construction group Almes for a total cost of $26.2m. The investments were made through ECP's MENA Growth Fund and its Moroccan Infrastructure Fund.

Emerging Capital Partners is betting on the North African construction industry after buying controlling stakes in an Algerian real estate developer and a Moroccan infrastructure group.

The Washington DC-based private equity firm said in a statement it had spent a total of $26.2 million investing in Shoresal and Almes.

ECP bought a $13.8 million stake in Shoresal, an Algerian real estate developer, which will be used to finance a 14-storey Class A office tower in the Bab Ezzouar business district of Algiers. The firm said demand for office space outstripped supply by almost eight times.

This is ECP’s fifth investment in Algeria and was made through the firm’s MENA Growth Fund.

ECP also acquired a $12.4 million stake in Almes, the holding company of public infrastructure works company Entreprise Marocaine de Travaux (EMT) and equipment leasing firm Somadiaz.

The investment, made in partnership with Moroccan real estate and tourism company Alliances Développement Immobilier, will be used to grow the company’s presence in Morocco and expand into neighbouring Libya and Mauritania. The deal was made on behalf of ECP’s Moroccan Infrastructure Fund, a joint venture with Attijariwafa bank.

Vincent Le Guennou, ECP executive vice president, said in a statement the “strong supply and demand imbalance in the [North African construction] sector is a compelling reason to invest.”