Beltone says will not accept less than 20% of EFG-Hermes in buy offer

Egypt’s Beltone Financial said on Wednesday its $257 million offer together with billionaire Naguib Sawiris for a stake in investment bank EFG Hermes will be withdrawn unless it gets the full 20 percent of shares it wants.

The potential deal, if it goes through, would mark a revival of interest in Egyptian equities after more than three years of stagnation following the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

Sawiris is one of Egypt’s highest-profile businessmen and his family own the Orascom group of companies, while EFG Hermes is one of the biggest investment banks in the Middle East.

“The minimum amount for the buy offer is 20 percent, otherwise the offer will be cancelled,” said Maged Shawky, Beltone’s chief executive said in remarks published in local newspaper al-Wafd on Wednesday.

Beltone confirmed the Wafd report to Reuters but declined to give more details.

Last week Beltone and Sawiris’s New Egypt fund submitted an offer to buy 20 percent of EFG but Egypt’s Financial Supervisory Authority said, on Tuesday, that the offer does not currently meet regulatory requirements.

EFG plan to appoint an Independent Financial Advisor (IFA) to opine on the fair value of the stock and the fairness of the offer, upon its approval by EFSA, in order to help shareholders evaluate its attractiveness, EFG said in a statement on their website.

“Accordingly, the Board of Directors will commission an IFA to produce those reports and will announce the results together with its opinion thereon,” it said.

Source: Reuters