Philippe de Moerloose is a Belgian businessman and company director, born on 30 June 1967 in Watermael-Boitsfort, Belgium. At the age of three, he went to live in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire), more specifically in the province of Katanga. After growing up in Lubumbashi, he returned to Belgium to study Management at ICHEC, where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in Commercial and Consular Sciences in 1991.

Freshly graduated, Philippe de Moerloose decided to combine his two passions: for cars and for the continent on which he grew up. In 1991 he founded Demimpex (de Moerloose Import-Export), a cooperative company specialising in car sales and the import and export of spare parts between Belgium and Africa.

Through acquisitions and strategic partnerships, Philippe de Moerloose’s group became SDA Holding, one of the leaders in the distribution of premium-brand vehicles, machinery and equipment in Africa, continental Europe and the United Kingdom.

The start of a success story

Intuition, passion and hard work are undoubtedly the foundations of Philippe de Moerloose’s success.

He started his professional activity at a time when others were fleeing the instability of the region. Thus, he implemented a strategy for Demimpex that could be described as “audacious”, and extended his distribution activities to include the sale of industrial vehicles and equipment. He quickly saw the potential for growth and diversification, both geographical and sectoral, of his activities, first on the African continent. In fact, the company gradually grew during the 1990s and enlarged its scope. More and more car manufacturers entrusted Philippe de Moerloose with the distribution of their models, and the company continued to grow, driven by the purchase of local distributors integrated into his group’s international network or of struggling players that he reinvigorated and incorporated into his activities.

In 1995, the company moved on to a fresh course with the acquisition of VRP (Vehicle Repair Parts), a specialist in the sale of leading car brands. This new acquisition was both a source of great pride and a new step taken, allowing Philippe de Moerloose to nurture new international ambitions.

A few years later, he acquired Transco (1999) and ATC RDC (2001) in order to expand his scope of activity and move towards the distribution of industrial machinery. In addition, during this period Demimpex became a true pan-African leader in its sector. Philippe de Moerloose very quickly began marketing his vehicles to civil engineering, agricultural and infrastructure companies, as well as to other transport companies.

The birth of an international group

After several acquisitions and the development of joint ventures in Africa and Asia, Philippe de Moerloose’s activities were gathered together in 2008 under the Belgian holding company SDA. The years from 2010 onwards attest to all the work done in the past.


At the end of 2011, the merger between Demimpex (Ford, Audi, Nissan, VW) and the French-Moroccan company Optorg (Mercedes, Hyundai, Kia, Dacia) gave rise to the Tractafric Motors Corporation (TMC), ranked number two in sub-Saharan Africa, 40% owned by SDA and 60% by Optorg.

2011 was a fairly rich year due to the acquisition of MultiTech, an importer of Volvo Construction Equipment brands for Ghana, Benin, Liberia and Burkina Faso.

In the years that followed, SDA positioned itself as a specialist in the distribution of car brands and various equipment, as well as in pan-African integrated networks. This success was due to the quality of its after-sales service and its ability to stock vehicles and spare parts in order to offer much shorter lead times to customers. Logistics platforms were also created in Antwerp and Dubai, as part of a service strategy.


2015 marked a key step in the evolution of Philippe de Moerloose’s group. The success of the Volvo operations in Africa allowed SDA to be very well positioned and to purchase the exclusive Volvo Construction Equipment distributor for Benelux, the Kuiken group.

In 2017, SDA Holding amalgamated the subsidiaries DEM Group (exclusive representatives of John Deere Construction & Forestry, John Deere Agriculture and Hitachi machinery in some 20 countries), SMT Group (exclusive importer of the Volvo Trucks, Volvo Construction Equipment and Volvo Penta brands, among others, in some 15 territories). This same year, SDA resold its stake in Tractafric Motors Corporation, thus marking an important strategic shift by focusing exclusively on the import, distribution and servicing of heavy machinery. The year also ended with the largest acquisition made by the group since its inception: the takeover of all Volvo Construction Equipment distribution activities in the UK, which were taken over directly from Volvo CE.

Through its acquisitions and strategic partnerships, SDA Holding has become a benchmark in the field of heavy machinery distribution in continental Europe and the United Kingdom. These two areas account for approximately 70% of SDA’s turnover, while the group maintains a significant presence on the African continent. Building on this strategy of international diversification, the group – which employs some 2,000 people worldwide – doubled its turnover between 2017 and 2019 to reach €921 million, with a recurring EBITDA of €76 million.

African Equities

In parallel with his main professional activities, in 2014 Philippe de Moerloose founded African Equities, a second financial holding company dedicated to a portfolio of investments on the African continent. He remains convinced that the underlying macroeconomic factors are extremely positive for the continent, with a young population, a rapidly expanding middle class, and incredible resources available to local and international actors.

With African Equities, Philippe de Moerloose took up a new challenge, that of hotels and business, by purchasing the Grand Hotel in Kinshasa and the Grand Karavia in Lubumbashi, part of the backdrop against which he grew up. These two jewels of the Congolese hotel industry have been entrusted to the Accor Group, the world leader in the management of this type of operation. Today, the hotels are operated under the Pullman brand.

African Equities is also fortunate to work with a wide range of major international clients such as UNICEF, Heineken, the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, TEXAF, etc. through its subsidiary Dematco, one of the construction market leaders in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

African Equities and its subsidiaries employ more than 1,000 people daily in the DRC.

Looking to the future

Over the years, Philippe de Moerloose has been able to surround himself with diverse, talented and experienced teams. The men and women who have built the group are those who have gained, with him, the qualities of vision, strategy and perseverance necessary for the emergence of the group.

Despite this success, Philippe de Moerloose retains a pronounced taste for challenges and for excelling himself:

“The future is still before us. With my teams, we are counting hugely on the African continent’s power of development, but also on increasingly international growth for our distribution activities, and we are constantly looking to build new partnerships with entrepreneurs who share our ambitions and values, in Europe or elsewhere.

I am therefore full of ambition as I continue the adventure that began almost 30 years ago.”