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Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Wataniya sale pushed back to 2H2021

The sale of 80-90% of military-owned Wataniya Petroleum has been pushed back to 2H2021, sources close to the transaction told the local press. The Sovereign Fund of Egypt (SFE), which is managing the sale, had previously been expected to wrap it up in the first half of the year, according to previous statements by the fund’s CEO Ayman Soliman. The report gave no reason for the delay; the SFE was not available for comment by dispatch time.

But that doesn’t mean progress isn’t being made: Potential buyer Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) has begun appointing advisors ahead of submitting an offer, sources said, though no further details were given on the size of the stake the company is targeting. Soliman had suggested last month that up to 90% of the company could be up for sale through a private placement, with the SFE retaining a 10-20% stake.

This comes as other GCC players look to buy in, with reports earlier this month suggesting that state-owned Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) and Saudi Aldrees Petroleum and Transport Services Co. were also interested. Local players and franchisers are also looking to buy in, with reports that Wataniya is also being courted by Qalaa Holdings’ Taqa Arabia.

Background: Wataniya is one of two companies that have been chosen to kickstart process led by the SFE to sell stakes to the private sector in firms owned by the military’s National Service Products Organization (NSPO). The SFE had suggested last year that the National Company for Producing and Bottling Water (SafI) and Wataniya could both be for sale.

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