Cairo court reduces antitrust fine against Ibnsina Pharma execs
DISPUTE WATCH- Cairo court slashes antitrust fine against Ibnsina Pharma execs: The Cairo Appeals Court issued a ruling yesterday reducing an antitrust fine imposed on executives from Ibnsina Pharma to EGP 160 mn, down from an original EGP 2.04 bn fine handed down by the Cairo Economic Court, a source close to the matter told Enterprise. Ibnsina’s executives are permitted to appeal yesterday’s verdict with the Court of Cassation, which can order a retrial for the case, according to our source.
Why it matters: First, reducing the fine to a reasonable figure signals to the wider business community that the court actually listened to arguments — always welcome news. Second, a settlement in the case is now a viable option and would eliminate the pronounced overhang over an otherwise very interesting share. EFG Hermes recently initiated coverage of Ibnsina, saying it was “well-positioned to capture Egypt’s rising … demand and continue outperforming the market.” EFG Hermes put a “buy” on the company’s shares with a target price of EGP 14.00 — and room to run to EGP 15.40 if the antitrust case was resolved. The company’s stock closed yesterday at EGP 10.90.
Background: The Egyptian Competition Authority had brought a case against four distributors including Ibnsina, Ramco, Multipharma, and United Company for Distribution and Trade on allegations they colluded to cut credit periods and slash discounts to small retail outlets.