The SOCOTA Group and the CIEL Group announced this Thursday, August 26, the creation in Antsirabe, on the industrial site of COTONA, of a joint venture dedicated to textiles and held in equal parts by the two groups.

In picture Salim Ismail, president of the SOCOTA group and Jean-Pierre Dalais, CEO of the CIEL group and president of CIEL Textile (DR).

This new vertically integrated, state-of-the-art industrial complex aims to increase COTONA’s current production from 10 to 20 million linear meters per year in a complete range of dyed, plain and printed cotton and blended fiber fabrics. It will be built by expanding the current COTONA site and integrating the materials and equipment of CFL, a subsidiary of CIEL Textile, located in Mauritius. At cruising speed, it will have a fixed asset of 40 million USD which will allow it to reach an annual turnover of about 45 million USD. For Salim Ismail, President of the SOCOTA Group: “This strategic alliance is a fine example of regional cooperation which will enable us to pool the know-how of our two groups, which are highly recognized by the world markets, and to achieve an international level of competitiveness thanks to economies of scale. This will result in new growth prospects for CIEL Textile’s and SOCOTA’s export garment manufacturing subsidiaries, respectively AQUARELLE and COTTONLINE. The same will be true for clothing manufacturing companies in the ZFI using fabrics of Madagascar origin. At a time when the textile industry is relocating to the African continent, Madagascar could, under certain conditions, aspire to be a future destination for the world’s textile industry and make this sector a powerful engine for wealth creation, employment and structuring investments that could change the face of poverty in our country.

A good example of regional cooperation

For his part, Jean-Pierre Dalais, CEO of the CIEL Group and President of CIEL Textile, said: “It has been more than 30 years since we started our textile activities in Madagascar and we are delighted today to join forces with the SOCOTA Group to accelerate the development of this key sector for the country’s development. By combining more than 90 years of experience in fabric manufacturing with a first class industrial production tool, we will be able to increase our production and product ranges in the region, ensuring traceability and quality throughout the production chain. We are thus responding to a growing demand for long-term partnerships between major international brands and producers that combine innovation and sustainable development. As a reminder, the CIEL Group has been present in Madagascar since 1989 with 6 factories, 3 of which are located in Antsirabe where the group has invested in a state-of-the-art industrial site that already employs more than 5000 people. The Group is also active in the financial sector through BNI Madagascar in which it has been the main shareholder since 2014. This new strategic transaction at a time of major global crisis confirms the good dynamics of the CIEL Group and in particular its subsidiary CIEL Textile, which reinforces its leading position in the region. For its part, the SOCOTA group remains more than ever committed to its textile and clothing activities in order to contribute in Antsirabe to the reinforcement of a major and unique textile production pole in Africa. Despite the current health crisis, this agreement opens a new page in the history of SOCOTA in Madagascar. It demonstrates once again the resilience and dynamism of the SOCOTA Group as well as its commitment to continue serving its customers while contributing to the development of communities in Vakinankaratra (the region where Antsirabe is located).