Impact investment in Madagascar: I&P completes its exit from UltramailleSubmitted by Admin on Thu, 01/27/2022 - 14:23
Since the first exit from the Mali based company CAMED in 2009, I&P has made 30 exits to date. We have published a summary note on our exit experience , recalling the key issues and looking back at some emblematic exits, including Ultramaille.
Founded in 1998, Ultramaille is a textile company specializing in knitwear and knitting. Based in Ambatomaro, this company founded by Frédéric Wybo currently employs more than 800 people and exports its production to Europe, the United States and South Africa.
Since 2016, the company has been supported by Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P), through its fund I&P Afrique Entrepreneurs 1, the second investment vehicle of the I&P family entirely dedicated to financing and supporting small and medium-sized companies in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Some key figures and data:
⇒ Number of jobs created and maintained: 700 permanent jobs, more than 250 fixed-term contracts, 72% of jobs held by women;
⇒ Number of sweaters exported: 200,000 to 250,000 pieces per year, 80% of which are exported to Europe (France, Belgium) and 20% to South Africa
⇒ I&P investment: 500,000 euros for a total investment of 1 million euros
⇒ GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certification.
A partnership with a strong financial, strategic and social impact
Since 2016, the partnership between I&P and Ultramaille has stood out for several achievements on both the financial and strategic levels, including: the diversification of the company's clientele with a move upmarket; the contribution of technology in production thanks to an investment of €800,000 (including €500,000 from I&P); and the development of the "handmade" range, which has enabled Ultramaille to access new markets, particularly in knitted and crocheted accessories (bags, etc...).
The arrival of I&P in the capital of Ultramaille was also marked by the implementation of strong social impact measures. Led by Frédéric Wybo, Mialy Ranaivoson (Investment Director, I&P Madagascar) and the entire management committee, Ultramaille has worked to enable the banking of all employees, the vast majority of whom are women, for reasons of security, savings management and finally to facilitate their financial integration.
Almost half of the employees have also benefited from internal training. All employees are covered by health insurance, with a multiplier effect as their family members also benefit. Finally, the average salary of Ultramaille's employees has been revised upwards and was in 2018, 57% higher than the national average.
"Impact investing pays as much attention to economic performance as to social and environmental impacts. And I&P's investments explicitly aim at positive and measurable social returns. With Ultramaille and its Director Frédéric Wybo, we have found a partner who shares our vision and values. We are convinced that the development of Madagascar, and the rest of the African continent, will be achieved through the construction of an efficient and responsible private sector, made up of SMEs rooted in the continent, capable of offering access to essential goods and services to all locally, and concerned with environmental, social and governance issues at all levels of decision-making.”
Mialy Ranaivoson, Investment Director, Madagascar
A successful exit in a particularly challenging Covid context
In 2020, one year before I&P's planned exit, the Covid-19 pandemic hit Ultramaille hard. The company lost 38% of its turnover, orders were refused, cash flow was under pressure, and the closure of Madagascar's borders to the world led to a difficult social situation.
The context of crisis did not suggest the possibility of an exit, even less on the promoter. But by 2021, the company had recovered and emerged stronger from this challenge. Ultramaille has fulfilled all the engagements made in 2016 when I&P entered. Ultramaille has bought back its stock, which has been its goal since the signing. It is a successful and "extraordinary" exit in a Covid context that both parties are celebrating today.
"The begining of the pandemic was a terrible time, both professionally and personally. But all the partners pulled together and above all showed a human face. The best decisions were made during these difficult moments and the future of the company, which was very uncertain for a while, is no longer in question.
Currently, 80% of the company's machinery is less than 5 years old, our "handmade" products have found a more upscale clientele, and the company is strong with a modernized and intelligent governance. New markets are now to be conquered!”
Frédéric Wybo, Managing Director of Ultramaille
Read the full press release of the exit