WASHINGTON, November 13 /PRNewswire/ --

- Private equity firms acquire Compagnie Miniere de Toussit for USD $53 million

Emerging Capital Partners (ECP), an international private equity firm focused onn investing across the Africa continent, and Truffle Capital have jointly acquired 100 percent of Compagnie Miniere de Touissit (CMT). This USD $53 million (euro 38.3 million) investment was made through a special purpose vehicle called OSEAD Maroc Mining (OMM).

CMT, the oldest lead producer and exporter in Morocco, is a Moroccan mining company specializing in the exploration, extraction and treatment of silver-bearing lead and silver-bearing zinc. The company quarries several subterranean mines and operates an ore treatment plant at Tighza, southeast of Meknes.

While Africa is home to approximately 30 percent of the planet's mineral reserves, the continent still produces less than seven percent of the world's major metals. This investment in CMT represents ECP's third investment in the mining sector, following positions in Anvil Mining (Democratic Republic of Congo) and Mineral Deposits Limited (Senegal).

"ECP sees enormous potential in the African mining industry, and specifically in CMT," said Hurley Doddy, chief operating officer of ECP. "Despite current market volatility, the underlying fundamentals of the global metals market remain strong. World demand for lead is increasing based on demand from China, while supply remains nearly constant due to the slow renewal rate of these natural resources."

ECP made its investment in CMT through its Moroccan Infrastructure Fund (MIF). MIF is managed by Morocco Infrastructure Management -- a joint venture between ECP and Attijari Invest -- and is dedicated to infrastructure and industrial sectors.

"ECP sees tremendous potential in Compagnie Miniere de Touissit as the sites have not yet reached their optimal production levels," said Vincent Le Guennou, executive vice president of ECP. "We will work with the company to increase the effectiveness of its extraction methods, and enhance both quality control and safety measures. By focusing on these areas, we hope to create additional value for CMT."

ABOUT ECP

Emerging Capital Partners (ECP) is the first private equity firm to raise more than USD $1 billion to invest in companies across the African continent. The ECP team has a seven-year track record of pan-African investing through five successful funds. The firm's investment strategy is focused on delivering consistently above-market returns to investors that are uncorrelated to the U.S. and other global economies. For more information, please see www.ecpinvestments.com.

ABOUT TRUFFLE CAPITAL

Founded in 2001, Truffle Capital with euro 300 million under management, is one of the leaders in the energy sector and a privileged partner for transactions in the bio-fuel, mining, uranium, oil and gas, wind power, photovoltaic, and profound off shores in the areas surrounding the Mediterranean.

ABOUT ATTIJARI INVEST

Attijari Invest is the private equity arm of Attijariwafa Bank, Morocco's largest bank and the eighth largest bank in Africa. Attijari Invest currently boasts four funds totaling over USD $450 million in capital commitments, and is the first entity in Morocco to successfully market regional and sector specific funds.

Web site: http://www.ecpinvestments.com

Jennifer Gill of FD, +1-212-850-5691, jennifer.gill@fd.com, for ECP