Sovereign fund to sell stakes in 2-3 state-owned firms in April, says CEO
Expect stake sales in pre-IPO fund firms in April: The Sovereign Fund of Egypt’s (SFE) pre-IPO fund is set to offer stakes in 2-3 state-owned companies to strategic investors or via public share sales in April, CNBC Arabia quotes Sovereign Fund of Egypt CEO Ayman Soliman as saying. Soliman did not disclose the names of the companies that will sell shares next month.
AND- We’re about to find out who’s buying into the state-owned hotels company: The government will “within days” make an announcement on stake sales in the seven hotels it bundled into one company ahead of a sale, Soliman said. The company will offer a 20% stake to strategic investors, followed by an offering of 5% on the bourse, Public Enterprises Minister Mahmoud Esmat said last month.
Eleven companies are headed to the pre-IPO fund in total: Soliman said that stake sales in 11 of the 32 companies in the government’s privatization program will be managed through the pre-IPO fund. The SFE reportedly added five state- and military-owned companies to its pre-IPO fund in January: Bottled drinks firm Safi, fuel retailer Wataniya, Banque du Caire, Misr Life Ins., and Egyptian Linear Alkyl Benzene (Elab). The fund, which also reportedly includes the Siemens-built, 4.8 GW combined-cycle power plant in Beni Suef, is said to be planning to offer a 20-30% stake in these companies to strategic investors.
REFRESHER- What pre-IPO fund? The fund aims to prepare state-owned enterprises for listing on the EGX by offering an alternative to public share sales while market conditions remain volatile. The state wants to raise as much as USD 6 bn through strategic stake sales via the pre-IPO fund, Planning Minister and SFE Chairman Hala El Said has said.
Are our Gulf neighbors gearing up to invest USD 4 bn? Strategic investors from the Gulf could spend USD 4 bn to buy into local firms in a first phase of stake sales, Soliman said. It’s not clear if he was referring to the first phase of stake sales under the pre-IPO fund — which Planning Minister Hala El Said said would raise USD 2.5-3 bn overall — or to the privatization program as a whole. The SFE, EGX, and government officials have made a number of trips to the Gulf in recent weeks to market the privatization program to wealth funds and other strategics in the region.
Qatar eyes more local sectors: Qatari investors are eyeing our logistics, containers, fertilizers, and export sectors, said Soliman. An Egyptian delegation to Qatar last week returned home without any hint of progress on the USD 5 bn the country has pledged to invest here, though Qatari players did express interest in our health, food, hospitality, and tech sectors. Talks with the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) to sell a stake in Vodafone Egypt and two container terminal operators have stalled in recent weeks, reportedly on the sizes of the stakes on offer.
Strategics will strengthen banks ahead of IPOs: Stakes in state-owned banks Banque du Caire (BdC), United Bank, and Arab African International Bank (AAIB) “are better placed with a strategic partner to lay down a clear vision and a clear reading on growth and then go to market afterwards,” Soliman told Bloomberg in an interview yesterday (watch, runtime: 5:58.) “When you crowd in the right strategic partner and then you go to market, the uptake on that market, the confidence in that company is a lot stronger,” Soliman said. “We aren’t shying away from local offerings or going to market but it’s how much the market can absorb” in terms of offering size, he added.
REMEMBER- The Madbouly government in early February revealed plans to sell stakes in 32 state-owned companies over the next year under a rebooted privatization program designed to help secure much needed FX and boost the private sector’s role in the economy in line with the government’s commitment to the IMF. Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly said that the state will offer shares in the companies to strategic investors, via offerings on the EGX or a mix of both over the next year.