Fund backs Moroccan university

A fund managed by Development Partners International has invested $20m in Université Privée de Marrakech.

African Development Partners II, a private equity fund advised by London-based Development Partners International (DPI), has made a $20 million equity investment in Université Privée de Marrakech (UPM), a Moroccan private university.

DPI, whose funds invest in companies benefitting from the emergence of Africa’s middle class, said it would help the university to grow in Morocco and Sub-Saharan Africa and become one of the leading universities in Francophone Africa.

UPM currently serves more than 1,900 students on its 32-hectare campus in Marrakech. It offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree programmes in management and governance, tourism and hospitality, engineering and innovation, health sciences, sports management and arts.

Mohamed Kabbadj, founder of UPM, said that with DPI’s help “we look forward to growing UPM’s student base up to 10,000, developing new degree programmes, and expanding our presence into Africa”.

The rationale for such deals is that, with government universities at full capacity, private education in Morocco and other African countries is believed to be ripe for growth.

UK-based advisory firm Capital Trust acted as exclusive financial adviser to UPM on the transaction.