Retail Holding buys out partners in CDCI

Private-equity fund Amethis and Ivorian-Lebanese entrepreneur Yasser Ezzedine have sold their stakes (25% and 40%, respectively) in CDCI (Compagnie de Distribution de Côte d’Ivoire) to Morocco-based Retail Holding, giving the latter full ownership of the Ivorian chain. CDCI is the second-largest player in Ivorian grocery retail, behind Prosuma. Financial terms were not disclosed.

In 2014, Retail Holding, which operates grocery stores under the Label’Vie, Carrefour, and  Atacadao banners in Morocco, acquired a minority stake in CDCI in partnership with Amethis, which they increased to a majority stake two years later. In August 2019, Retail Holding raised USD600 million from a five-year bond to finance its expansion.  

“Thanks to the partnership with Amethis and Yasser Ezzedine we were able to start our expansion in sub-Saharan Africa while pursuing growth in Morocco,” said Zouhaïr Bennani, president of Retail Holding, who has replaced Ezzedine as chairman of CDCI.

The Sagaci Research View: As we recently reported, CFAO, Carrefour’s West African franchisee, has outlined plans to significantly expand its presence in Côte d’IvoireWith a fellow Carrefour franchisee now assuming control of the number-two player in Ivorian retail, the likelihood of CFAO and CDCI joining forces in some fashion to take on market leader Prosuma is now higher than ever.

If you want an in-depth assessment of CDCI’s development, operations, and strategy in the Ivorian market, check out our CDCI Research Report 2019