Actis acquires West African clothes company for $151m


Emerging markets-focused private equity firm Actis has acquired Vlisco Group, a West African manufacturer of designer wax fashion fabrics, for $151m.

The 164-year old company produces clothing targeting the luxury and mid-tier African economic demographics through its Clisco, GTP and Woodin brands, with key markets including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo and Benin, and production bases spread across Holland, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana.

The company has also received a boost from the fashion for African fabrics and styles internationally. Vlisco directly employs over 2,100 people of which 1,500 people are based in West Africa.

Actis senior partner Paul Fletcher said, “The Vlisco Group portfolio of brands are contemporary, proudly African and share an extraordinary heritage of design innovation; grounded in tradition but adapted to the needs of a growing consumer class.”

The firm recently made its first inroads into Brazil, investing $58m into supermarket operator Companhia Sulamericana de Distribuição (CSD).

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