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Thursday, 15 September 2022

THIS MORNING: B Investments to announce decision on Adnoc bid for TotalEnergies Egypt + Gov’t to launch intellectual property strategy next week

Good morning, wonderful people, and a very happy THURSDAY to you all.

We feel a little bit as if we’re swimming through molasses this morning after staying up way past our bedtime last night chewing over life, the universe and everything with a large group of you at the wonderful Villa M. To everyone who attended: Thank you for your kindness — and your super-smart questions. And to everyone who chooses to start (or end) their days with us: We cannot thank you enough. Writing you is the highlight of our professional careers.

We’re also very excited this morning: The EFG Hermes One on One takes place in Dubai next week, and it’s the first time since before the pandemic that the world’s premier frontier and emerging markets investor conference will take place face-to-face.

Do you live and work in Dubai? Want to have coffee next week? A bunch of us will be in town for the One on One. Drop us a line on patrick@enterprisemea.com and let’s see if our schedules can sync up.

HAPPENING TODAY-

M&A WATCH- It’s decision day for B Investments: Expect an announcement today from the private equity player on whether it will preempt Adnoc’s bid for TotalEnergies Egypt and acquire the shares itself.

THE STORY SO FAR- Adnoc wants TotalEnergies Egypt: Adnoc’s distribution arm in late July agreed to acquire 50% of TotalEnergies Egypt for up to USD 203 mn. This includes a 34.6% stake owned by Total Energies Marketing Afrique (TEMA) and a 15.4% share held by B Investments.

B Investments has the right of first refusal: B Investments’ shareholder agreement gives it the right to pre-empt Adnoc’s bid and acquire TEMA’s shares for itself — but has to come to a decision within a specified period of time.

Now it’s deadline day: The company has been deliberating on what to do for the past 6.5 weeks and has to decide whether to acquire TEMA’s shares or allow Adnoc to proceed with the acquisition.

Speaking of TotalEnergies: We don’t think the company gets enough tub-tubs for breaking the gender barrier by employing so many women at its filling stations. More of this, please, from all of us — in every sector.

THAT’S NOT THE ONLY DEADLINE today:

  • Today is the final day for companies to apply for the fifth phase of the export subsidy program.
  • It’s the last chance for companies to submit bids for the government contract to renovate the Grand Continental Hotel.

WATCH THIS SPACE- Is the PM about to get a new council of economic advisors? A single local press outlet is reporting that Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly is forming an economic advisory council whose members are entirely drawn from the business community. The outlet suggests that some very smart, high-profile folks are members. The catch: We reached out to a number of them, and they said they hadn’t heard the news. We’ll poke into this a bit further and report back if there’s anything to say.


The fourth Egypt- and UN-led regional climate roundtable takes place today in Beirut: The one-day event will see climate negotiators discuss climate finance with private- and public-sector stakeholders ahead of the COP27 summit in November.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD- It’s a mixed bag in the global front pages this morning: US media is focused on an impending rail strike (NYT | Washington Post | WSJ), the Financial Times leads with the new UK chancellor’s pledge to scrap caps on bankers’ bonuses, while the latest from Ukraine continues to be big news following the stunning retreat of Russian forces earlier this week (Reuters | Associated Press).

THE END OF COVID WATCH? The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) just gave his most optimistic assessment of the covid-19 pandemic ever, telling reporters in a presser yesterday that it is closer than ever to being over. “We are not there yet. But the end is in sight,” Reuters quoted Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as saying. Despite optimism, he urged countries to maintain their alertness and fully vaccinate high-risk groups while continuing to test for the virus. "Now is the time to run harder and make sure we cross the line and reap the rewards of all our hard work,” he said.

CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

Intellectual property strategy coming soon: Egypt will launch its intellectual property strategy next Wednesday, Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly said yesterday, according to a cabinet statement. World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Director-General Daren Tang will make an appearance at a ceremony being put on to launch the program, the PM said.

We’ve been expecting this for a while: Madbouly first flagged that changes to intellectual property rights were in the works in his big privatization speech back in May. The strategy was finalized by the Justice Ministry and sent to the Cabinet in June.

ADD Art is hosting its inaugural AlDau International Art Festival in Hurghada from 22 September until 7 October, according to a statement (pdf). The festival will begin with a weeklong workshop with nearly 40 artists from countries including the US, UK, France, Jordan, Tunisia, Uzbekistan, and Congo. The workshop will be followed by an exhibition from 2-7 October at the AlDau Art Promenade in Hurghada. ADD Art is a subsidiary of AlDau Developments.

PSA- Tech startups have two weeks to apply for DMZ Cairo’s second eight-month incubation program, which begins in November. Applications for the cycle are open until Thursday, 29 September, according to a statement (pdf). The incubator is based at the Universities of Canada in Egypt and is backed by the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology and the National Technological Incubators Program.

Check out our full calendar on the web for a comprehensive listing of upcoming news events, national holidays and news triggers.

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