A collaborative research project between New York University Abu Dhabi and Tharawat Family Business Forum

Spotlight

Cevital Group

Information last updated on 19 December 2022

Snapshot

Founding

Family Name:

Rebrab[1]

Founder’s Name:

Issad Rebrab[2]

Earliest Documented Business Name:

Socomeg[3]

Founding Year:

1971[4]

Founding Location:

Algeria[5]

Today

Current Operating Status:

Operating

Family Business Name:

Groupe Cevital[6]

Headquarters Location:

Kouba, Algeria[7]

Key Industries:

Food, automotive, services, distribution, real estate[8], industry (electrical appliances, windows and shutters)[9], water treatment[10]

Number of Employees:

18 000[11]

About the Founder

Issad Rebrab was born in 1944[12] in the village of Taguemount-Azouz in Tizi Ouzou, Algeria.[13] After an early education in his hometown, he relocated to France to pursue post-secondary studies,[14] winning a scholarship to study accounting at Cours Pigiers in the city of Thionville. He then moved to Metz, where he continued his studies. He subsequently enrolled in the Ecole Normale d’enseignement Professionnel in Algeria, but quickly grew weary of the program,[15] leaving to undertake a brief career as a school teacher.[16] In 1967, he married Djedjiga Rebrab (née Aouali).[17] [18] The couple had four sons — Omar (born 1967),[19] Malik (born 1972),[20] Yassine (born 1974),[21] and Salim (born 1977)[22] — as well as one daughter, Lynda (born 1969).[23]

 

Founding Story

In 1968, Issad quit his teaching job[24] and set up an accounting firm. One of his clients talked him into participating in the establishment of a metallurgical construction company — a transformative milestone in Issad’s career.[25] In 1971, he co-founded SOCOMEG in Algeria, embarking on his entrepreneurial journey.[26] Four years later, Issad established his own business, Profilor, in the same sector.[27]

 

Growth Phase

By 1979, Issad Rebrab was sufficiently successful to fully acquire the metallurgical company he had co-founded eight years prior. Throughout the 1980s, Issad continued to establish new businesses, which grew steadily. In 1988, he launched his biggest project yet — Metal Sider, a steel manufacturing company.[28] By that point, his eldest son, Omar, had obtained two diplomas: one in finance and accounting, the other in communications. Upon graduation, Omar became the first member of the second generation to join the family business.[29]

 

The early 1990s marked a critical phase in the growth of the Rebrab family business. Building on his success in the construction supplies sector, Issad turned to horizontal diversification, creating a local daily newspaper, Liberté, in 1991.[30] One year later, he ventured into the food processing industry with Isla, a halal meat manufacturer — a sector that proved highly profitable for the family.[31]

 

In 1995, at the peak of the Algerian civil war, three of Issad’s factories were destroyed in a terrorist attack, costing him 1.1 billion Algerian dinars (equivalent to approximately 15.5 million USD in 2022). Issad temporarily moved to France;[32] when he returned home to Algeria in 1997, he expanded his foothold in the food processing industry, establishing Agro-Grain,[33] which grew into the Cevital Group the following year.[34] In 1999, the founder’s second son, Malik, joined the family business to become deputy CEO.[35] As the group experienced rapid growth, Yassine, Lynda, and Salim Rebrab joined over the next few years.[36] [37] [38]

 

Issad handed the group’s operational leadership over to his son Malik in 2008, while he assumed a less active role.[39] By the turn of the decade, the Cevital Group had turned into a major player in the Algerian economy.[40] In 2012, Cevital began pursuing a more international profile with a bid to acquire Doux, a leading poultry producer in France. Though that bid was unsuccessful, the family business went on to acquire the Spanish Aluminium Alas (extrusion of aluminium),[41] French Oxxo (carpentry and thermic isolation)[42] and Brandt (home equipment and appliances[43]), and Italian Lucchini (steel).[44]

 

In 2014, Issad publicly accused the Algerian state of blocking his business projects, and a warrant was ultimately issued for his arrest.[45] In an apparent effort to minimize the potential damage should the Algerian government decide to directly attack the business, the family restructured the Cevital Group into multiple business sectors the following year.[46] In 2019, then 75-year-old Issad Rebrab was arrested and imprisoned on various corruption charges.[47] [48] He served eight months in jail before his eventual release in January 2020.[49]

 

Today

 

Today, Cevital Group remains headquartered in Algeria, where it has grown into the country’s largest privately held company.[50] With over 26 subsidiaries[51] and 18,000 employees, Cevital’s international operations span across countries including France, Morocco, Tunisia,[52] Italy, Spain,[53], UAE,[54] and Brazil.[55] [56] Food processing is still among the group’s primary business lines, and it owns one of the largest sugar refineries in the world.[57] Its widely diversified operations encompass other sectors such as automotive, retail and distribution, real estate,[58] electrical appliances, construction material,[59] and water treatment.[60]

 

Founder Issad Rebrab is one of the highest net-worth individuals in Africa, according to multiple sources, including Forbes.[61] At the age of 78, he is the group’s chairman.[62] His five children all hold positions in the family business: Omar is CEO of the Automotive, Real Estate and Services division,[63] Lynda is director of Research & Development,[64] Malik is director of the Industry division,[65] Yassine is managing shareholder[66] and youngest son Salim is managing director of the Food Processing and Distribution sector.[67]

 

Notes

Cevital Group headquarters in Algiers, Algeria. Source: Wikipedia

 

[1] “Cevital » La direction.” Cevital, https://www.cevital.com/le-fondateur-bio-et-vision/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[2] “Cevital » La direction.” Cevital, https://www.cevital.com/le-fondateur-bio-et-vision/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[3] “Cevital » l’histoire du groupe.” Cevital, https://www.cevital.com/lhistoire-du-groupe/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[4] “Cevital » l’histoire du groupe.” Cevital, https://www.cevital.com/lhistoire-du-groupe/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[5] “Cevital » La direction.” Cevital, https://www.cevital.com/le-fondateur-bio-et-vision/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[6] “Cevital » l’histoire du groupe.” Cevital, https://www.cevital.com/lhistoire-du-groupe/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[7] “Cevital » contact us.” Cevital, https://www.cevital.com/contact-us/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[8] “Cevital Group.” Cevital, https://www.cevital.com/en/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[9] “Cevital » industry.” Cevital, https://www.cevital.com/industry/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[10] “Home.” LinkedIn, 25 December 2022, https://www.linkedin.com/company/cevital-spa/about/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[11] “Cevital » l’histoire du groupe.” Cevital, https://www.cevital.com/lhistoire-du-groupe/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[12]“Cevital » La direction.” Cevital, https://www.cevital.com/le-fondateur-bio-et-vision/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[13] Bozonnet, Charlotte. “Issad Rebrab, le milliardaire qui dérange.” Le Monde, 6 June 2016, https://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2016/06/06/issad-rebrab-le-milliardaire-qui-derange_4938201_3212.html. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[14] Aloui, Nidal. “Issad Rebrab, une “success story” et des énigmes – Le Jeune Indépendant.” Le Jeune Indépendant, 24 June 2022, https://www.jeune-independant.net/issad-rebrab-une-success-story-et-des-enigmes/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[15] “Issad Rebrab : quand l’entrepreneur emblématique de l’Algérie jette l’éponge.” Agence Ecofin, 23 April 2022, https://www.agenceecofin.com/portrait/2304-96937-issad-rebrab-quand-l-entrepreneur-emblematique-de-l-algerie-jette-l-eponge. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[16] “How one Algeria Business Man built a global brand called “Cevital.”” YouTube, 30 March 2022, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdIpnrJxYno. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[17]Plus, Algeriepart. “DOCUMENTS EXCLUSIFS – Depuis la Sortie de Prison du Père, les Enfants Rebrab multiplient les Acquisitions Immobilières en France !” Algérie Part, 2022, https://www.algeriepart.com/documents-exclusifs-depuis-la-sortie-de-prison-du-pere-les-enfants-rebrab-multiplient-les-acquisitions-immobilieres-en-france/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[18]Plus, Algeriepart. “DOCUMENTS EXCLUSIFS – Depuis la Sortie de Prison du Père, les Enfants Rebrab multiplient les Acquisitions Immobilières en France !” Algérie Part, 2022, https://www.algeriepart.com/documents-exclusifs-depuis-la-sortie-de-prison-du-pere-les-enfants-rebrab-multiplient-les-acquisitions-immobilieres-en-france/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[19]“bio et Vision du CEO : Omar Rebrab.” Cevital, https://www.cevital.com/bio-et-vision-du-ceo-omar-rebrab/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[20] “Malik Rebrab.” Leaders Afrique, http://www.leaders-afrique.com/malik-rebrab/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[21]Plus, Algeriepart. “DOCUMENTS EXCLUSIFS – Depuis la Sortie de Prison du Père, les Enfants Rebrab multiplient les Acquisitions Immobilières en France!” Algérie Part, 2022, https://www.algeriepart.com/documents-exclusifs-depuis-la-sortie-de-prison-du-pere-les-enfants-rebrab-multiplient-les-acquisitions-immobilieres-en-france/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[22]REBRAB, Salim. “Salim REBRAB | Dirigeant de la société ISLA MONDIAL.” Infonet.fr, https://infonet.fr/dirigeants/Salim-REBRAB-MTk3NzA0Mjk/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[23] LYNDA REBRAB – LONDON – BUSINESSWOMAN, http://www.checkcompany.co.uk/director/52647/LYNDA-REBRAB. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[24] Latrous, Neila. “Biographie de décideur : Issad Rebrab.” Tout sur l’Algerie, 2015, https://web.archive.org/web/20160703031225/https://www.tsa-algerie.com/20150506/issad-rebrab-biographie/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[25] Latrous, Neila. “Biographie de décideur : Issad Rebrab.” Tout sur l’Algerie, 2015, https://web.archive.org/web/20160703031225/https://www.tsa-algerie.com/20150506/issad-rebrab-biographie/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[26] “Cevital » l’histoire du groupe.” Cevital, https://www.cevital.com/lhistoire-du-groupe/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[27] “Cevital » l’histoire du groupe.” Cevital, https://www.cevital.com/lhistoire-du-groupe/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[28] “Cevital » The Group’s History.” Cevital, https://www.cevital.com/the-history-of-group/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[29] “Bio and vision of the CEO: Omar Rebrab.” Cevital, https://www.cevital.com/bio-automative-and-services/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[30]“Cevital » The Group’s History.” Cevital, https://www.cevital.com/the-history-of-group/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[31] “Issad Rebrab : quand l’entrepreneur emblématique de l’Algérie jette l’éponge.” Agence Ecofin, 23 April 2022, https://www.agenceecofin.com/portrait/2304-96937-issad-rebrab-quand-l-entrepreneur-emblematique-de-l-algerie-jette-l-eponge. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[32] Latrous, Neila. “Biographie de décideur : Issad Rebrab.” Tout sur l’Algerie, 2015, https://web.archive.org/web/20160703031225/https://www.tsa-algerie.com/20150506/issad-rebrab-biographie/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[33] Latrous, Neila. “Biographie de décideur : Issad Rebrab.” Tout sur l’Algerie, 2015, https://web.archive.org/web/20160703031225/https://www.tsa-algerie.com/20150506/issad-rebrab-biographie/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[34] Latrous, Neila. “Biographie de décideur : Issad Rebrab.” Tout sur l’Algerie, 2015, https://web.archive.org/web/20160703031225/https://www.tsa-algerie.com/20150506/issad-rebrab-biographie/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[35] “Bio and vision of the CEO: Malik Rebrab.” Cevital, https://www.cevital.com/bio-industry/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[36] “Home.” LinkedIn, 25 December 2022, https://www.linkedin.com/in/salim-rebrab-8046b5b1/?originalSubdomain=fr. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[37] “Home.” LinkedIn, 25 December 2022, https://www.linkedin.com/in/yassine-rebrab-63a74441/?originalSubdomain=dz. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[38] “Bio and vision of the CEO: Salim REBRAB.” Cevital, https://www.cevital.com/biography-and-vision-of-ceo/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[39] Rebrab, Djedjiga. “Djedjiga Rebrab – Dirigeant de la société Sci 7r Lincoln.” Verif.com, https://www.verif.com/dirigeants/Djedjiga-Rebrab-2659237/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[40] “Al-manach.com.” Al-manach.com, 17 June 2018, http://www.almanach-dz.com/index.php?op=fiche&fiche=4593. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[41]“Cevital » Alas Iberia.” Cevital, https://www.cevital.com/alas-iberia-fr/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[42] “Cevital » OXXO.” Cevital, https://www.cevital.com/oxxo/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[43] “Cevital » Brandt.” Cevital, https://www.cevital.com/brandt-fr/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[44]  Latrous, Neila. “Biographie de décideur : Issad Rebrab.” Tout sur l’Algerie, 2015, https://web.archive.org/web/20160703031225/https://www.tsa-algerie.com/20150506/issad-rebrab-biographie/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[45] REBRAB, Issad. “Issad Rebrab : “Ma seule ambition, le développement économique de l’Algérie.”” YouTube, 27 May 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFD1yTMOcOM. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[46] “Bio and vision of the CEO: Salim REBRAB.” Cevital, https://www.cevital.com/biography-and-vision-of-ceo/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[47] “Algeria: 5 billionaires arrested as part of anti-corruption drive.” Al Jazeera, 22 April 2019, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/4/22/algeria-5-billionaires-arrested-as-part-of-anti-corruption-drive. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[48]Plus, Algeriepart. “DOCUMENTS EXCLUSIFS – Depuis la Sortie de Prison du Père, les Enfants Rebrab multiplient les Acquisitions Immobilières en France !” Algérie Part, 2022, https://www.algeriepart.com/documents-exclusifs-depuis-la-sortie-de-prison-du-pere-les-enfants-rebrab-multiplient-les-acquisitions-immobilieres-en-france/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[49] Mughal, Waqar. “Issad Rebrab & family – The Richest Arab Billionaires 2022 – Forbes Lists.” Forbes Middle East, 7 April 2022, https://www.forbesmiddleeast.com/lists/meet-2022s-arab-billionaires/issad-rebrab-family/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[50]“About Issad Rebrab & family.” Forbes, https://www.forbes.com/profile/issad-rebrab/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[51] “Cevital Group.” Cevital, https://www.cevital.com/en/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[52] PRESENTATION OF CEVITAL GROUP, 11 May 2021, https://www.jetro.go.jp/ext_images/_Events/streaming/2021/bde-20210727/CevitalGroup_Algeria.pdf. Accessed 19 December 2022. page 8

[53] “Cevital » The Group’s History.” Cevital, https://www.cevital.com/the-history-of-group/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[54] “Cevital International (Dubai) Ltd. – Public Register.” DIFC, https://www.difc.ae/public-register/cevital-international-dubai-ltd/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[55] Araujo, Gabriel. “Brazil motor maker WEG to form Algerian venture with Cevital Group.” Nasdaq, 18 July 2022, https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/brazil-motor-maker-weg-to-form-algerian-venture-with-cevital-group. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[56] “En-Export.” Cevital Agro-Industrie, https://www.cevital-agro-industrie.com/en/page/export-p2. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[57] “About Issad Rebrab & family.” Forbes, https://www.forbes.com/profile/issad-rebrab/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[58] “Cevital Group.” Cevital, https://www.cevital.com/en/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[59] “Cevital » industry.” Cevital, https://www.cevital.com/industry/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[60] “Home.” YouTube, 25 December 2022, https://www.linkedin.com/company/cevital-spa/about/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[61]“About Issad Rebrab & family.” Forbes, https://www.forbes.com/profile/issad-rebrab/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[62]“Cevital » Group Governance.” Cevital, https://www.cevital.com/board-of-directors/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[63] “Bio and vision of the CEO: Omar Rebrab.” Cevital, https://www.cevital.com/bio-automative-and-services/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[64] “Lynda Rebrab’s email & phone | Cevital’s Director, Research & Development contact info.” Datanyze, https://www.datanyze.com/people/Lynda-Rebrab/1777483909. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[65] “Bio and vision of the CEO: Malik Rebrab.” Cevital, https://www.cevital.com/bio-industry/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[66] “Home.” LinkedIn, 25 December 2022, https://www.linkedin.com/in/yassine-rebrab-63a74441/?originalSubdomain=dz. Accessed 19 December 2022.

[67] “Bio and vision of the CEO: Salim REBRAB.” Cevital, https://www.cevital.com/biography-and-vision-of-ceo/. Accessed 19 December 2022.

To cite this article please use:

“Cevital Group” Family Business Histories Research Project, New York University Abu Dhabi and Tharawat Family Business Forum, 20 Mar. 2023, familybusinesshistories.org/spotlights/cevital-group