Mediterrania Capital Partners invests in Groupe Scolaire René Descartes reinforcing its presence in the education sector in the Maghreb

10-01-2018. Mediterrania Capital Partners, the private equity firm focused on growth investments for SMEs in North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, announces the acquisition through its fund (MC II), of a stake in the Groupe Scolaire René Descartes, a private educational institution specialised in French and Tunisian programmes based in Tunisia.

Groupe Scolaire René Descartes is officially recognised by the French Ministry of National Education and one of only three independent schools in Tunisia to work in partnership with the Agence de l’Enseignement Français à l’Étranger (AEFE). Owned by Mrs Dhouha Sellaoui and Mrs Hayet Smida, the group has been operating since 1994. Since then, it has established itself as one of the leaders in the private education segment in Tunisia.

The group offers teaching programmes ranging from pre-primary school to high school through two entities located in Ennasr, in the Tunis district:

  • Groupe Scolaire René Descartes (GSRD): Operating since 1994, and with close to 1,600 pupils enrolled for the most recent academic year, GSRD provides French programmes from pre-primary school to high school.
  • Foundation El Habib Bourguiba (FHB): Operating since 2016, FHB provides Tunisian programmes from pre-primary school to college. The school is currently housing 250 pupils for the most recent academic year.

With Mediterrania Capital’s investment, the group plans to increase the capacity of the two establishments in Ennasr and support development of new sites in key locations in Tunisia and Algeria over the next 2-3 years. The team of Mediterrania Capital Partners, in close partnership with the group’s management, will drive the value creation process of the company ensuring best-in-class operating processes while maintaining the excellence in educational programmes and international approach that the Groupe Scolaire René Descartes is renowned for.

Commenting on the transaction, Daniel Viñas, Partner at Mediterrania Capital, said: “After the Arab Spring, the French private system established itself as an alternative education path offering qualitative teaching and reliable diplomas in Tunisia. Demand in the country has been increasing strongly for the past few years and continues to grow. We are very pleased to keep investing in education in North Africa through Groupe Scolaire René Descartes, which is extremely well positioned to address the growing demand for private education in Tunisia.”

Mrs Dhouha Sellaoui, of Groupe Scolaire René Descartes, added: “We are delighted to welcome Mediterrania Capital Partners as an investor in GSRD. We value the team’s deep understanding of the education market in Tunisia and their hands-on approach to implementing the growth strategies of the portfolio companies. We are excited to have Mediterrania Capital on board to help us reach our expansion plans and continue providing high-quality education for a growing number of students in Tunisia.”

Mediterrania Capital Partners has been present in Tunisia since 2013. This transaction marks the 8th investment of Mediterrania Capital’s fund MC II across a number of sectors including education, retail clothing, car rental services, financial services, food and beverages, ICT and general industry.

About Mediterrania Capital Partners

Mediterrania Capital Partners ( is a private equity firm focusing on African and mainly North African growth investments in SMEs and mid-cap companies.

Headquartered in Malta and with offices in Abidjan, Algiers, Barcelona, Cairo and Casablanca, Mediterrania Capital Partners takes an intensely proactive, hands-on approach to implementing its growth strategy by leading the governance of the companies and driving the key internal value creation process.

Mediterrania Capital Partners is a regulated financial investment manager licensed by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) and the Financial Services Commission (FSC) in Mauritius.

Montserrat Petit, Communications Manager
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