The National Bank of Egypt (NBE) announced it will shortly begin reviewing offers for the purchase of 1.4 million shares in the Egyptian Flat Glass Company (EFGC), representing 80.05 percent of the company’s total shares. NBE indicated that the controlling stake will be sold to the highest bidder, be it a single anchor investor or group of investors, foreign or local.
NBE was placed in charge of handling EFGC’s portfolio on behalf of the public banks and private companies, which currently own in the company’s shares. The bank issued a first tender offering an anchor stake in the company back in October 2001.
At the time, British glass manufacturer Pilkington, which already holds 10 percent of EFGC shares, made a bid to purchase another 78 percent of the company’s shares, in an offer whose estimated worth was $33 million. Pilkington wanted to purchase 1.35 million shares at a price of 105 Egyptian pounds ($25) per share.
The deal, however, fell through, as EFGC shareholders’ were willing to tender only 21,333 shares, insufficient to give Pilkington the minimum 88 percent controlling interest it had sought. Despite the November rejection, Pilkington recently reaffirmed its interest in acquiring EFGC, Al-Alam Al-Yaum reported. The UK group is thus expected to place another bid for the current tender.
Seeking to develop a presence in Middle East markets, Pilkington purchased the 10 percent stake in EFGC already in 1997. The group currently intends to expand EFGC’s operations and transform it into a regional exporter serving the Middle East, Africa and Southern Europe, according to Farouk Nasser of International Development Consultants, Pilkington’s local advisor, quoted by the Business Monthly.
Founded in 1995, EFGC now controls the local glass for construction market. It produces float glass for windows and car windshields in its Cairo plant, whose output reaches 400 metric tons of glass per day. Several public sector banks hold nearly 70 percent of the EFGC shares, while the remaining 30 percent is in private hands, including Pilkington and the Saudi-Egyptian Industrial Development Company.
EFGC posted a 71 percent rise in net profits in the financial year 2001. Net profit totaled EP39.27 million ($8.46 million), up from EP22.94 million in FY00. Sales rose 14 percent to reach EP152 million. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )