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Thursday, 4 February 2021

Ebtikar eyes 2H2021 IPO

Ebtikar is planning an EGX debut in the second half of 2021, Omar El Labban, the IR director of majority shareholder B Investments, told Enterprise. The listing will only take place after the company has spun off most activities it has now that aren’t related to e-payments, he said.

This is the first time Ebtikar has targeted a specific timeframe to close the IPO, El Labban tells us. Local press chatter had claimed the company was eyeing a 1Q2021 listing, but this was speculation, he said. A separate press report also claimed the company will sell a 25-30% stake. El Labban declined to disclose the potential size of the offering.

Post-spin off: E-payment businesses Bee and Masary will remain under the Ebtikar umbrella. Its non-banking financial services activities will be spun out into a new company. These include Vitas Egypt and its portfolio company Tamweel Holding, El Labban said. Tamweel is a mortgage and consumer finance, factoring, and leasing player, while Vitas is a microfinance provider. Local press reports claimed last month that the new firm will be called Basata.

Why the split? The company wants to capitalize on growing investor appetite for digital payments companies, El Labban said. Industry giant Fawry is the standard bearer in this respect, becoming the country’s first bn-USD tech company one year after listing on the EGX.

Ebtikar hired EFG Hermes last year to explore its “strategic listing options,” and had been mulling to take one or two of its subsidiaries public, it said at the time. Private investors already approached EFG Hermes for stakes before it pulls the plug on the IPO, according to a local press report out yesterday, quoting sources “close to the offering.” The company has reportedly tapped Zaki Hashem & Partners as legal advisor, the sources say.

Who owns what? Ebtikar is jointly owned by B Investments (50.1%) and MM Group (49.9%).

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