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Monday, 11 November 2019

Egypt’s Maritime Holding Co is getting its ducks in a row with int’l consultants as privatization beckons

PRIVATIZATION WATCH- Holding Co for Maritime getting its ducks in a row with int’l consultants — Is privatization beckoning? The Holding Company for Maritime and Land Transport is in talks with international consulting firms to evaluate its plans to restructure and merge a number of its subsidiaries, sources told Al Mal. According to sources, the Public Enterprises Ministry is looking to restructure the Suez Cargo Handling Automation Company alongside other companies handling foreign trade, freight shipping, and transport. The winning company will be given a 30-month period to restructure three of the selected subsidiaries. Out of the 20 firms that threw their hats in the ring, Brisk is the frontrunner, followed by Dutch advisory firm MTBS.

Background: The Public Enterprises Ministry has been on a privatization drive for the past several months, and said last month that it could offer private investors the management rights to three bus companies before merging them together. The move is partially modeled after state-owned Heliopolis Housing, which is offering management rights alongside a 10% stake sale as part of its plan to sell 25% of the company on the EGX. The government has also enacted legislation that would push privatization forward. Under proposed amendments to the Public Enterprises Act, private-sector companies would be allowed to own stakes of just under 50% in the ministry’s holding companies. The amendments would also introduce private sector-friendly board regulations by setting a cap on the number of government seats on the boards of state holding companies to seven.

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