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Emerging Capital Partners Invests $47.3 Million in North African Personal Care Company

Wednesday, May 21, 2008 General News J E 4
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WASHINGTON, May 21 Emerging Capital Partners (ECP), aninternational private equity firm focused on investing across the Africancontinent, today announced a U.S. $47.3 million investment in Societed'Articles Hygieniques (SAH), Tunisia's leading personal care company andproducer of absorbent hygiene products. The funds will be used to expandoperations in SAH's existing North African markets, as well as to enter intonew markets.

"ECP believes SAH is poised for continued strong growth thanks toimproving standards of living in the North African market and changes inconsumer habits that directly benefit hygiene and personal care products,"said Tom Gibian, chief executive officer of ECP. "The company already hasstrong brand recognition, a coherent product line, and competitive productioncosts. Combined with the region's improving macro fundamentals, SAH is wellpositioned to expand throughout North Africa."

Over the past five years, SAH's revenue has grown in excess of 30 percenta year, and the company has more than doubled its return on equity. Thecompany - which produces baby care, feminine care, incontinence care, andrelated paper products under the "Lilas" brand - intends to expand its productrange in Tunisia, grow its market share in Algeria and Libya, and accelerateits development in Mauritania and sub-Saharan Africa.

"SAH is an established player in Tunisia and has an excellent track recordof expanding into new markets and products," said Vincent Le Guennou,executive vice president of ECP. "The company has formed impressivedistribution networks and has adapted its packaging to fit its variousmarkets. This has enabled SAH's export business to grow to more than 40percent of overall sales, which we view as a positive indicator for futuresuccess."

The investment in SAH was made through a consortium of two ECP managedfunds: ECP Africa Fund II and the ECP MENA Growth Fund. ECP Africa Fund IIwas established in December 2005 to capitalize on the numerous investmentopportunities throughout Africa in sectors such as telecom, natural resources,financial services, agribusiness, transportation, and power and water. TheECP MENA Growth Fund was established in September 2007 to make growth equityinvestments in the Middle East and North Africa regions.

ABOUT ECP

Emerging Capital Partners (ECP) is the first private equity firm to raisemore than U.S. $1.2 billion to invest in companies across the Africancontinent. The ECP team has an eight-year track record of pan-Africaninvesting through six successful funds. The firm's investment strategy isfocused on delivering consistently above-market returns to investors that areuncorrelated to the U.S. and other global economies. For more information,please see www.ecpinvestments.com.

SOURCE Emerging Capital Partners
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