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

Spotlight

Loukil Holding

Information last updated on 18 August 2022

Snapshot

Founding

Family Name:

Loukil

Founder’s Name:

Mohamed Loukil[1]

Earliest Documented Business Name:

Ets M.Loukil & Cie[2]

Founding Year:

1976[3]

Founding Location:

Tunis, Tunisia[4]

Today

Current Operating Status:

Operating

Family Business Name:

Loukil Holding

Headquarters Location:

Tunis, Tunisia[5]

Key Industries:

Agribusiness, Technology, Automotive, Services, Property Development, Electro-Mechanical[6]

Number of Employees:

4000[7]

About the founder

Mohamed Loukil was born in the early 1940s in Sfax, Tunisia, to a father who worked as a textile merchant. Mohamed graduated high school first in his class[8] and then obtained a degree in agricultural engineering[9] in 1961 from Ecole d’agriculture de Mograne. After graduating, he was put in charge of managing a large agricultural land in Chaâl, where he subsequently became the first Tunisian director after the independence.[10]

 

In 1964, the Tunisian government conducted an “agricultural evacuation” across the entire territory of the Tunisian Republic, recovering all lands that had been colonized since the advent of the French protectorate in 1881.[11] Mohamed’s responsibilities grew as he started supervising the agricultural lands recovered from French settlers in Sfax, but eventually quit due to dissatisfaction with the government’s land management policies.[12] He married and had two children: Bassem, born in 1965, and Walid, born in 1974.[13]

 

Founding story

 

Having acquired considerable technical and managerial experience, Mohamed moved in the early 1970s to the capital city of Tunis.[14] He joined the French agricultural equipment distributor Montenay as a director and succeeded in growing the company’s profits. In 1976, he struck out on his own as an entrepreneur, purchasing a garage that specialized in used vehicles,[15] which he renamed from Coccinella[16] to Ets M.Loukil & Cie.[17] Not having much capital to start, Mohamed counted on his careful selection of employees to make the business a success.[18]

 

Growth Phase

 

Arranging to distribute the Japanese tractors of Kubota, and later Kawasaki, he gathered the necessary capital to build toward his vision of becoming a manufacturer.[19] In 1981, he opened his first factory for the production of agricultural equipment in Sfax, establishing a business now known as the Mediterranean Industrial Group.[20]

 

Building on the success of this first plant, in 1986 Mohamed established SODEX to export his products to other African countries.[21] He always understood the importance of geographical diversification for business sustainability, having lived through Tunisian independence, and witnessed the overnight difficulties businessmen had to navigate In 1987, the business hit another milestone when it ventured into the manufacturing of agricultural equipment with the establishment of Med Equipment[22] and Inter Parts.[23]

 

Bassem Loukil, the founder’s eldest son, grew up in Tunis where he graduated from Ibn Muslim school. In 1984, he left for the United States to pursue his studies at Georgia State University, where he got a BA in marketing and IT, then an MBA, and ultimately a PhD in industrial management. During his nine years in Atlanta, he also acquired professional experience working at the Coca-Cola headquarters. After obtaining his PhD in 1992, Bassem returned to Tunisia to join his father’s business.[24]

 

Upon joining the business, Bassem began an era of diversification for what would later become Loukil Group, recognizing his strength in creating new companies in a variety of industries.[25] In 1993, he created Baltic Mediterranean Trading, specializing in exports and international trade.[26] Shortly after, Bassem expanded into automobiles, convincing Mazda to entrust his family business with the distribution of their cars in Tunisia.[27] In 1998, Bassem and his father were joined by Walid, the founder’s younger son,[28] two years after he graduated from the Université de Carthage.[29]

 

In the 2000s, Loukil Group moved into the telecommunications industry with a new subsidiary, Groupe Audio-com.[30] Three years later, they created Medcom to handle international phone brands such as Samsung, Alcatel, Nokia and Sony Ericsson.[31] In 2004, the business’s growing success in the field motivated them to expand their operations to the larger Algerian market with Loukilcom Algerie.[32]

 

As the family’s automobile operations proved increasingly successful, they established Aures Auto, sole distributor of Citroën in Tunisia.[33] In addition, they also became the exclusive distributor of Renault trucks and spare parts in the country. In 2008, Loukil Group acquired Ateliers Mécaniques du Sahel (AMS) , which specializes in household electrical devices, has branches in Egypt and sub-Saharan Africa Tripoli, Algiers, and Paris, and exports to Germany, France, and Italy. Continuing its horizontal diversification, the group reached an estimated value of 367 million euros in 2010.[34] Throughout this period, the two brothers oversaw operations, while their father Mohamed retained control of key business decisions. [35]

 

In 2011, the Tunisian revolution and subsequent regime changes hindered business operations throughout the country.[36] Loukil’s geographical scope — it was now operating in 13 African countries as well as in France — helped the business survive this difficult period.[37] In 2013, Loukil Investment Group was founded to financially consolidate all of the family’s companies and gradually listing them publicly.[38]

Over the rest of the decade, they launched new subsidiaries, including Appliances and Electronics Distributors[39] and Electro Industries,[40] while increasingly venturing into neighboring African markets to strengthen their exports=.[41]

 

Today

 

 

Today, Loukil Group is chaired by Bassem Loukil,[42] and his brother Walid Loukil is the deputy general manager.[43] In 2019, Mohamed, Bassem’s son, became the first member of the family’s third generation to join the business.[44] The group — which operates through its main holdings, Loukil Investment Group, New Technology Corporation, and Universal Auto Distributors Holding[45] — no longer considers itself a “family business” as most of their companies are now publicly listed.[46] As of 2021, the group has over 30 subsidiaries and more than 4,000 employees[47] in five industry sectors and 17 countries.[48]

 

 

 

Notes

Mohamed Loukil, founder of Loukil Holding (center) with two sons Bassem (right) and Walid (left). Source: Africa CEO Forum

 

[1] Groupe Loukil : The Group. http://www.loukil.com.tn/En/the-group_11_9. Last Accessed 18 Aug. 2022

[2] Agro-Industry & Construction Subsidiary: Industrial Companies of the Loukil Group. http://www.loukil.com.tn/Fr/agro-industrie-btp_57_19. Last Accessed 18 Aug. 2022

[3] Groupe Loukil : The Group. http://www.loukil.com.tn/En/the-group_11_9. Last Accessed 18 Aug. 2022

[4] Bassem Loukil : L’esprit d’aventure, Le Talent Du Développement. https://www.leaders.com.tn/article/8386-bassem-loukil-l-esprit-d-aventure-le-talent-du-developpement. Last Accessed 18 Aug. 2022

[5] Groupe Loukil : Home. http://www.loukil.com.tn/En/home_46_3. Last Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

[6] Groupe Loukil : Home. http://www.loukil.com.tn/En/home_46_3. Last Accessed 18 Aug. 2022

[7] Groupe Loukil : The Group. http://www.loukil.com.tn/En/the-group_11_9. Last Accessed 18 Aug. 2022

[8] Interview de Monsieur Mohamed Loukil. Directed by Bassem Loukil, 2019. YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26CZp-CFY6c. Last Accessed 18 Aug. 2022

[9] “Tunisie : le groupe Loukil met l’accent sur l’international – Jeune Afrique.” JeuneAfrique.com, https://www.jeuneafrique.com/143173/economie/tunisie-le-groupe-loukil-met-l-accent-sur-l-international/. Last Accessed 18 Aug. 2022

[10] Interview de Monsieur Mohamed Loukil. Directed by Bassem Loukil, 2019. YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26CZp-CFY6c. Last Accessed 18 Aug. 2022

[11] JAIBI, M’hamed. “Dans la fidélité à l’évacuation agricole.” La Presse de Tunisie, 12 May 2019, https://lapresse.tn/7232/dans-la-fidelite-a-levacuation-agricole/.Last Accessed 18 Aug. 2022

[12] Bassem Loukil : L’esprit d’aventure, Le Talent Du Développement. https://www.leaders.com.tn/article/8386-bassem-loukil-l-esprit-d-aventure-le-talent-du-developpement. Last Accessed 18 Aug. 2022

[13] “Le Pari panafricain des Loukil.” The AFRICA CEO FORUM, https://www.theafricaceoforum.com/fr/ressources/13787/. Last Accessed 18 Aug. 2022

[14] Bassem Loukil : L’esprit d’aventure, Le Talent Du Développement. https://www.leaders.com.tn/article/8386-bassem-loukil-l-esprit-d-aventure-le-talent-du-developpement. Last Accessed 18 Aug. 2022

[15] “Tunisie : le groupe Loukil met l’accent sur l’international – Jeune Afrique.” JeuneAfrique.com, https://www.jeuneafrique.com/143173/economie/tunisie-le-groupe-loukil-met-l-accent-sur-l-international/. Last Accessed 18 Aug. 2022

[16] Interview de Monsieur Mohamed Loukil. Directed by Bassem Loukil, 2019. YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26CZp-CFY6c. Last Accessed 18 Aug. 2022

[17] Agro-Industry & Construction Subsidiary: Industrial Companies of the Loukil Group. http://www.loukil.com.tn/Fr/agro-industrie-btp_57_19. Last Accessed 18 Aug. 2022

[18] Interview de Monsieur Mohamed Loukil. Directed by Bassem Loukil, 2019. YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26CZp-CFY6c. Last Accessed 18 Aug. 2022

[19] “Tunisie : le groupe Loukil met l’accent sur l’international – Jeune Afrique.” JeuneAfrique.com, https://www.jeuneafrique.com/143173/economie/tunisie-le-groupe-loukil-met-l-accent-sur-l-international/. Last Accessed 18 Aug. 2022

[20] Industry Subsidiary: Industrial Companies of the Loukil Group. http://www.loukil.com.tn/Fr/industrie_57_66. Last Accessed 18 Aug. 2022

[21] Trade and Service Subsidiary: Industrial Companies of the Loukil Group. http://www.loukil.com.tn/Fr/commerce-et-service_57_18. Last Accessed 18 Aug. 2022

[22] Agro-Industry & Construction Subsidiary: Industrial Companies of the Loukil Group. http://www.loukil.com.tn/Fr/agro-industrie-btp_57_19. Last Accessed 18 Aug. 2022

[23] Agro-Industry & Construction Subsidiary: Industrial Companies of the Loukil Group. http://www.loukil.com.tn/Fr/agro-industrie-btp_57_19. Last Accessed 18 Aug. 2022

[24] Bassem Loukil : L’esprit d’aventure, Le Talent Du Développement. https://www.leaders.com.tn/article/8386-bassem-loukil-l-esprit-d-aventure-le-talent-du-developpement. Last Accessed 18 Aug. 2022

[25] Bassem Loukil : L’esprit d’aventure, Le Talent Du Développement. https://www.leaders.com.tn/article/8386-bassem-loukil-l-esprit-d-aventure-le-talent-du-developpement. Last Accessed 18 Aug. 2022

[26] Trade and Service Subsidiary: Industrial Companies of the Loukil Group. http://www.loukil.com.tn/Fr/commerce-et-service_57_18 Last Accessed 18 Aug. 2022

[27] Bassem Loukil : L’esprit d’aventure, Le Talent Du Développement. https://www.leaders.com.tn/article/8386-bassem-loukil-l-esprit-d-aventure-le-talent-du-developpement. Last Accessed 18 Aug. 2022

[28] “Tunisie : le groupe Loukil met l’accent sur l’international – Jeune Afrique.” JeuneAfrique.com, https://www.jeuneafrique.com/143173/economie/tunisie-le-groupe-loukil-met-l-accent-sur-l-international/. Last Accessed 18 Aug. 2022

[29] Walid LOUKIL | LinkedIn. https://www.linkedin.com/in/walid-loukil-4745a18/. Last Accessed 18 Aug. 2022

[30] Trade and Service Subsidiary: Industrial Companies of the Loukil Group. http://www.loukil.com.tn/Fr/commerce-et-service_57_18. Last Accessed 18 Aug. 2022

[31] Groupe Loukil : Home. http://www.loukil.com.tn/En/home_46_3. Last Accessed 18 Aug. 2022

[32] Trade and Service Subsidiary: Industrial Companies of the Loukil Group. http://www.loukil.com.tn/Fr/commerce-et-service_57_18. Last Accessed 18 Aug. 2022

[33] Groupe Loukil : Home. http://www.loukil.com.tn/En/home_46_3. Last Accessed 18 Aug. 2022

[34] “Tunisie : le groupe Loukil met l’accent sur l’international – Jeune Afrique.” JeuneAfrique.com, https://www.jeuneafrique.com/143173/economie/tunisie-le-groupe-loukil-met-l-accent-sur-l-international/. Last Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

[35] “Tunisie : le groupe Loukil met l’accent sur l’international – Jeune Afrique.” JeuneAfrique.com, https://www.jeuneafrique.com/143173/economie/tunisie-le-groupe-loukil-met-l-accent-sur-l-international/. Last Accessed 18 Aug. 2022

[36] Béchir, Riadh. “The Tunisian Revolution and the Role of Regional Development Disparities in Its Outbreak.” Contemporary Arab Affairs, vol. 11, no. 3, 2018, P. https://www.jstor.org/stable/48599594, Last Accessed 18 Aug. 2022

[37] “Tunisie : le groupe Loukil met l’accent sur l’international – Jeune Afrique.” JeuneAfrique.com, https://www.jeuneafrique.com/143173/economie/tunisie-le-groupe-loukil-met-l-accent-sur-l-international/. Last Accessed 18 Aug. 2022

[38] Interview de Monsieur Mohamed Loukil. Directed by Bassem Loukil, 2019. YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26CZp-CFY6c. Last Accessed 18 Aug. 2022

 

[39] Trade and Service Subsidiary: Industrial Companies of the Loukil Group. http://www.loukil.com.tn/Fr/commerce-et-service_57_18. Last Accessed 18 Aug. 2022

[40] Industry Subsidiary: Industrial Companies of the Loukil Group. http://www.loukil.com.tn/Fr/industrie_57_66. Last Accessed 18 Aug. 2022

[41] لقاء مع بسام الوكيل. Directed by Watania Replay, 2017. YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJboVH8SMRU. Last Accessed 18 Aug. 2022

[42] Mughal, Waqar. “Loukil Holding – Top 100 Arab Family Businesses in the Middle East 2021.” Forbes Lists, https://www.forbesmiddleeast.com/lists/top-100-arab-family-businesses-in-the-middle-east-2021/loukil-holding/. Last Accessed 18 Aug. 2022

[43] Network, The OECD Forum. “Walid LOUKIL.” The OECD Forum Network, https://www.oecd-forum.org/users/walid-loukil. Last Accessed 18 Aug. 2022

[44] “Le Pari panafricain des Loukil.” The AFRICA CEO FORUM, https://www.theafricaceoforum.com/fr/ressources/13787/. Last Accessed 18 Aug. 2022

[45] Mughal, Waqar. “Loukil Holding – Top 100 Arab Family Businesses in the Middle East 2021.” Forbes Lists, https://www.forbesmiddleeast.com/lists/top-100-arab-family-businesses-in-the-middle-east-2021/loukil-holding/. Last Accessed 18 Aug. 2022

[46] Interview de Monsieur Mohamed Loukil. Directed by Bassem Loukil, 2019. YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26CZp-CFY6c. Last Accessed 18 Aug. 2022

[47] Mughal, Waqar. “Loukil Holding – Top 100 Arab Family Businesses in the Middle East 2021.” Forbes Lists, https://www.forbesmiddleeast.com/lists/top-100-arab-family-businesses-in-the-middle-east-2021/loukil-holding/. Last Accessed 18 Aug. 2022

[48]Agro-Industry & Construction Subsidiary: Industrial Companies of the Loukil Group. http://www.loukil.com.tn/Fr/agro-industrie-btp_57_19. Last Accessed 18 Aug. 2022

To cite this article please use:

“Loukil Holding” Family Business Histories Research Project, New York University Abu Dhabi and Tharawat Family Business Forum, 20 Mar. 2023, familybusinesshistories.org/spotlights/loukil-holding