Bel leads the Moroccan cheese market with its The Laughing Cow®, les Enfants® and Kiri® brands.
Safilait, Morocco's third-largest dairy company specialized in the processing, packaging and sale of fresh milk, UHT milk and fresh dairy products through its Jibal® brand, has reported robust business growth over the past several years.
With this transaction, Bel and Safilait will broaden their offering in the Moroccan market, where the two companies already have strong brands and market positions.
The agreement is subject to several conditions, including the approval of anti-trust authorities and the ruling of the Kingdom of Morocco's Economy and Finance Ministry for the stake held by Fipar-Holding. The parties hope to obtain these approvals in the third quarter of 2015.
Antoine Fievet, the Bel Group's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said: "Bel is proud of its success in Morocco, built with the help of long-time local partners. The Group applauds this new partnership with recognized Moroccan producers, one that fully meets its strategic growth objectives."
Omar Kettani, Yasfi's Chairman and CEO, said: "We are honored to forge a partnership with the Bel Group, which is known and recognized both nationally and internationally for its professionalism and values. This partnership will enable Safilait to consolidate its position and to reach a new milestone in its growth."
Assisting the Bel Group for the financial aspects of the transaction were Oddo Corporate Finance and KPMG, with Bennani & Associés LLP providing legal support.
The sellers were assisted by Capital Trust and CDG Capital for the financial side, and by Naciri & Associés - Allen & Overy for legal affairs.
Bel in Morocco
Present in the country since the 1970's, Bel employs 1,500 people in Morocco and operates a plant in Tangiers that produces The Laughing Cow®, les Enfants® and Kiri® cheese. Bel is the leading player in the Moroccan cheese market.
Safilait, established in 2006, has grown into Morocco's third-largest dairy player with its Jibal® brand. In 2014, the company generated 880 million dirhams (MAD) in sales and employs nearly 1,300 people. Its production site is located in Morocco's Fkih Ben Saleh region.