OCI Gains in Cairo as Shareholders Approve Amsterdam RelocationAhmed A. Namatalla
Orascom Construction Industries advanced to the highest level in more than three weeks after shareholders of Egypt’s biggest publicly traded company approved a plan to transfer the listing to Amsterdam.
Shares of the Cairo-based company rose 1.7 percent to 267.86 Egyptian pounds at the close in the capital, the strongest since Jan. 22. The stock is up 6.1 percent this year, outpacing a 4.9 percent gain for the benchmark EGX 30 Index, amid plans to transfer the listing to NYSE Euronext. Orascom Construction comprises a quarter of the EGX 30’s market value.
The company said 99.9 percent of minority shareholders in the builder today approved the plan, giving them the option of exchanging their stakes for stock in Amsterdam-based OCI NV or selling them to a group of investors led by Bill Gates’ Cascade Investments LLC for 280 pounds per share. The group, which includes Southeastern Asset Management and Davis Selected Advisors, has committed $2 billion toward buying stock.
Majority shareholders, including the Egyptian Sawiris family and Dubai-based private equity company the Abraaj Group, abstained from the vote at the request of the nation’s financial market regulator. More than 97 percent of holders of OCI’s London-traded shares, who represent 74 percent of the total, had agreed to exchange their stock for OCI NV shares, the company said last week.
Orascom Construction, which also makes fertilizers, will file a tender offer for the Cairo-based shares next week, said Omar Darwazah, head of investor relations. OCI NV shares increased 2.5 percent to $39.99 today, bringing their gain since trading started on Jan. 25 to 2 percent.