Actis resolves succession difficulties at mattress maker

The Moukarim family has sold its majority stake in the Nigerian foam mattress company Mouka to emerging markets buyout firm Actis in an effort to resolve succession problems.

Actis has bought Mouka, a Nigerian foam mattress company, for an undisclosed sum.

The firm’s investment will help the founding Moukarim family resolve the company’s succession difficulties. Labi Williams, Actis’s investment principal, said the investment reinforced his firm’s commitment to Nigeria where it has been substantially increasing it investment activities over the past five years.

Actis recently led an investment into Nigeria’s Diamond Bank with $134 million provided to the company. Investment in Nigeria has been growing significantly over the last few years as investors eye the 140 million-strong population of the country.

Mouka manufactures foam and spring mattresses, pillows and sheetings used to make furniture. It has the largest single foam production plant in West Africa.

Adedotun Sulaiman will become non-executive chairman of the company and Peju Adebajo, the former chief executive of UTC Nigeria will become the foam company’s chief executive. She has also had roles at UBA, Citibank and The Boston Consulting Group.

Sulaiman is also chairman of Accenture Nigeria and a business veteran of corporate Nigeria.

The investment comes from Actis’s second Africa fund and the Canada Investment Fund for Africa, which Actis jointly manages with Cordiant.

Actis has over $1 billion under management across Africa.