Citadel sells stake in Sudanese Egyptian Bank
Cairo, April 27, 2014
Egypt's Citadel Capital said it was selling its majority stake in the Sudanese Egyptian Bank to the Islamic Solidarity bank of Sudan for $22 million.
The move is part of a programme to shed non-core assets and focus on energy, transport, agrifoods, mining and cement, the Cairo-based company said in a statement. Its stake in the Sudanese Egyptian Bank was 66.1 per cent.
Citadel, which has $9.5 billion under management, plans to shed holdings gradually outside those areas over the next few years and convert itself from a private equity firm into a holding company.
Commenting on the move, chairman and founder Ahmed Heikal, said: “Having helped grow it from a small, trade-focused bank into a full-fledged Islamic financial institution, we are delighted to have exited our investment in Sudanese Egyptian Bank and placed it with a strategic parent with the capacity to take it to the next level.”
“This transaction is entirely in line with our program of divesting non-core assets to focus on proven winners in our five core industries: energy, transportation, agrifoods, mining and cement across a footprint that concentrates on Egypt, North Africa and East Africa,” he stated.
Originally established to facilitate trade between Egypt and Sudan, SEB is a full-service Islamic bank with a diverse portfolio of corporate and individual clients. It is a portfolio company of Finance Unlimited, a non-core Citadel Capital platform in the regional banking and finance industry.
Citadel Capital is shedding non-core investments at appropriate times and valuations over the coming three-plus years.
“This said, we will continue to be significant long-term investors in Sudan, where we see great opportunities to create value for our shareholders in the years ahead,” stated Heikal.
Citadel Capital subsidiaries in Sudan operate in sectors including cement (leading cement producer Al-Takamol Cement Company); agrifoods (Rashidi for Integrated Solutions, leading Sudanese confectioner Al-Musharraf, and large-scale farm Sabina); and transportation (NRTC Keer Marine, a division of river transport company Nile Logistics).
“Proceeds from our divestment program will be used to both deleverage and fuel growth at core subsidiaries,” Heikal noted. “We are also continuing to invest in governance at the Citadel Capital and subsidiary levels to ensure we have the people and systems we need to make our growth sustainable.”
Citadel, which has holdings in dozens of companies, mainly in Egypt, east and north Africa, has suffered losses over the past two years partly due to political turmoil in the Arab world.-Reuters and TradeArabia News Service