Vantage Capital , Africa’s largest mezzanine debt fund manager, announced that in December 2022 it fully exited its investment in Pétro Ivoire, the most established locally-owned distributor of petroleum and gas products in Côte d’Ivoire. The company has a leading position in the gas-to-consumer segment as well as about eighty service stations around the country.
Vantage provided €19 million of mezzanine funding in December 2018 to enable the founding family to regain a controlling stake in the company from two exiting private equity investors. With this new ownership structure, supported by Vantage’s investment, the company continued to invest in additional service stations and increased gas bottling capacity.
At the time of investment, Vantage recognized Pétro Ivoire as a market-leading local player, operating in a resilient, growing sector, and led by a talented family who has managed the business successfully for more than 25 years.
Driss Benabdeslam, Associate Partner at Vantage Capital, commented, “Pétro Ivoire is the perfect example of the value that can be added by mezzanine funding. After being backed by several private equity funds in its earlier stages of growth, our funding brought the founding family a solution that allowed them to exit these private equity investors and regain control of their business without having to write out a big equity cheque. Thanks to the steady growth that followed, Pétro Ivoire scaled up to a size where it became capable of unlocking additional institutional capital for its next phase of development. We are proud to have assisted the company in delivering on this business expansion and are confident that management will continue to grow the company into a regional leader in the years to come.”
Luc Albinski, Executive Chairman at Vantage Capital, added “Pétro Ivoire is a flagship transaction for us. It was Vantage’s first investment in Francophone Africa, and it also marked the first-ever leveraged management buy-out structured in Francophone West Africa. In addition to funding, we provided the Kadio-Morokro family with the strategic support that we believe helped propel the company forward. Our successful partnership opens doors for more transactions of this kind in the region.”
Sébastien Kadio-Morokro, the CEO of Pétro Ivoire, concluded that “the funding provided by Vantage was extremely ‘family-friendly’ giving us a controlling position in our business and allowing us to move to the next stage of our development. Vantage’s continuous support and involvement made us feel that we had selected not only a lender, but a true partner that contributed to the governance of the company.”