BEIRUT

Regional

Beltone/Sawiris rule out change to offer for EFG Hermes stake

CAIRO: Egypt’s Beltone Financial and billionaire Naguib Sawiris said Sunday they would not change their offer to buy 20 percent of EFG Hermes investment bank at 16 Egyptian pounds ($2.24) per share.

Beltone and Sawiris’ New Egypt Investment Fund are offering $257 million for the EFG stake in a bid that could help revive dealmaking in Egyptian equities after three years of stagnation following the overthrow of Honsi Mubarak in 2011.

EFG Hermes, which appointed Cairo-based HC Securities and Investment this month to evaluate the fair value of its shares, said Saturday an independent financial adviser had set its fair share price at 22.93 pounds, higher than the offer by Beltone and Sawiris’ New Egypt Investment Fund.

“The consortium of New Egypt Investment Fund and Beltone Financial announce ... that they have no intention to change the offer price for the shares,” they said in a joint statement Sunday. “We see the offered price per share as a fair price.”

EFG Hermes is one of the Middle East’s biggest investment banks, with operations in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman and Qatar.

The government of Dubai owned 11 percent of EFG Hermes as of the end of March, making it the biggest shareholder, according to Thomson Reuters data. EFG has a free float of about 67 percent.

The offer submitted said that New Egypt Investment Fund would buy 17.82 percent, while Beltone planned to acquire 1.09 percent and Beltone Capital Holding would acquire another 1.09 percent.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on June 30, 2014, on page 5.

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