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Sat 19 Apr 2014 01:45 AM

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Dubai's Abraaj buys Moroccan chocolate manufacturer

Investor says it will seek to enhance product offerings of Casablanca-based Kool Food

Dubai's Abraaj buys Moroccan chocolate manufacturer

Dubai-based Abraaj Group has announced the acquisition through one of its funds of a stake in Kool Food, a Moroccan chocolate confectionery manufacturer based in Casablanca.

Abraaj said it will draw on its significant investment expertise and strong networks across the MENA region to consolidate Kool Food’s market-leading position in Morocco and advance its international distribution strategy.

The Group also will seek to enhance Kool Food’s offerings with new products in the near term and additional complementary products in the medium term through financing an ambitious investment programme.

Abraaj added that it will assist Kool Food in its continuous efforts to meet advanced social and governance standards in the business.

Kool Food was founded in 2010 by entrepreneur Anas Lahlou and specialises in developing, producing and selling chocolate confections, powder drinks as well as other sweet and salted food products under its own brand.

The company offers several products which are sold locally as well as exported to countries in the Maghreb region, including Algeria and Tunisia.

The company is one of the few chocolate-based product manufacturers in the region, a statement said.

Tarek Kabil, partner at The Abraaj Group, said: “Kool Food is well-positioned in the Middle East and North Africa region as a successful local producer of quality chocolate confectionery products affordable to the region’s burgeoning consumer classes.

"By building out Kool Food’s current product offering with attractive new products and extending its pan-regional distribution, Abraaj will catalyze the company’s growth into one of the leading chocolate confectionery players in the region.”

Anas Guennoun, director at The Abraaj Group, added: “Our investment in Kool Food marks our third investment in Morocco since 2012, and aligns with our strategy of seeking strong, well-managed companies in the high-growth FMCG sector. We see significant upside potential in Morocco, across multiple sectors, and this investment offers another opportunity for Abraaj to capitalize on this attractive market.”

Anas Lahlou, Founder and CEO of Kool Food, said: “Partnering with Abraaj will accelerate Kool Food’s growth, building on our hard work over the last four years to develop this company into a leading confectionery brand recognized for making popular chocolate products.

"We are extremely excited about the opportunity to take Kool Food to the next level and look forward to working with the Abraaj team.”

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