Africa-focused private equity firm DPI has bought a fifth of Moroccan foam mattress company Dolidol, DPI said on Thursday. File picture: Pexels

LONDON - Africa-focused private equity firm DPI has bought a fifth of Moroccan foam mattress company Dolidol, DPI said on Thursday, in a bet on the continent’s growing middle classes.

DPI paid around $30 million (R439 million) for the 20 percent stake in Dolidol, which was founded in 1972 and manufactures and sells polyurethane foam, mattresses, sofas and non-woven textiles.

The partnership with DPI will allow Dolidol to expand in sub Saharan Africa with an emphasis on West Africa, DPI said in a statement.

DPI, which has more than $1.1 billion in assets under management, has invested around $230 million across five investments in Morocco.

While Morocco sidestepped the uprisings that upended much of the Arab world in 2011, it has seen protests driven by poverty and unemployment erupt more recently in some neglected regions.

GDP growth is expected to slow to 2.9 percent in 2019 from a forecast 3.1 percent this year, an official said in August.

“We are predicting that the market (Morocco) will perform strongly in the years to come, underpinned by strong macro-growth, a low deficit and modest debt levels,” DPI Partner Sofiane Lahmar said.

“While there are a number of opportunities across Africa, the biggest opportunity is undoubtedly the sizable and growing middle-class. They are an empowered generation, looking to consume more and more products and services,” Lahmar added.