Egyptian river transport fund nets $21m
Cairo, July 3, 2011
Leading private equity firm Citadel Capital said two major European financial groups have announced plans to jointly invest $21 million in a fund that controls the company’s Egyptian river transport investments.
Announcing this on Monday, Citadel Capital said as per the agreement, the German development finance institution DEG will invest $14 million into the Opportunity-Specific Fund, while European Investment Bank (EIB) will pump in $7 million.
The Opportunity-Specific Fund controls Citadel Capital’s Egyptian river transportation investments - which operates an environmentally friendly network of ports and highly fuel efficient barges in the Arab world’s most populous country.
“This is a valuable step to further strengthen the Egyptian logistics industry by offering alternative domestic freight routes while taking traffic off Egyptian roads,” said Christoph Evard, leading DEG’s equity team on this transaction.
“We are proud to be actively supporting Egypt’s economic development in the current times and believe that this should have a positive effect on other private sector investors. Our commitment should send a message that this is a good time to be looking at investments in Egypt.”
The fund, Citadel Capital Transport Opportunities II (CCTO II), controls barge operator Nile Cargo and the National River Port Management Company (NRPMC).
Both fall under the umbrella of NMT, Citadel Capital’s holding company for investments in Egypt’s logistics and river transportation sector. Citadel Capital’s river transport investments in Sudan fall under the Nile Logistics Platform Company, which in turn is a shareholder in CCTO II.
'The DEG and EIB always make careful investment decisions,' remarked Ahmed Heikal, chairman and founder of Citadel Capital, which has investments spanning 14 countries and 15 industries.
'We take their decision to invest today as a clear validation of the importance of river transportation - and specifically our operations, which are leaders in the sector - to the Egyptian economy at large,” he noted.
'The EIB is very pleased to support Citadel Capital’s innovative investments in Egypt’s river transport sector. These investments typify the type of pro-environment, job-creating ventures that we are keen to support,' said Claudio Cortese, deputy director general of Operations outside of the EU for the EIB.
'At this unique moment in history, we are ready to quickly and efficiently take action to help Egyptians realize their aspirations,” he added.
“NMT will use this infusion of equity to rapidly scale-up its operations, building additional barges and procuring new handling equipment for its ports,” stated Citadel Capital managing director and co-founder Hisham El-Khazindar.
“To accelerate the build-out of our new fleet, NMT will be commissioning barges at both local and international shipyards going forward,” he added.-TradeArabia News Service