Actis Seeks Egypt Health, Consumer Deals After CIB Stake Cut

Actis LLP, a London-based private equity firm, is considering acquisitions in Egypt’s consumer and health-care industries after reducing its stake in the country’s biggest listed bank.

The buyout firm intends to strike two deals in the most populous Arab country and is seeking to close one this year, Director Hossam Abou Moussa said in an interview in Cairo yesterday. The companies targeted are private and each of the transactions would be valued at $75 million to $100 million, he said, declining to give more details.

“North Africa has been very good for us,” Abou Moussa said. “We continue to look for good investment opportunities within our parameters. Both of these companies are market leaders within their sectors.”

Actis is pumping fresh funds into Egypt after selling a 2.6 percent stake in Commercial International Bank Egypt SAE in March. Foreign investment has been slow to return to the country amid political unrest since a 2011 uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak and the military ouster of his Islamist successor Mohamed Mursi in July. Elections are scheduled to start May 26.

The company, with $5.2 billion of funds under management as of 2012, is also pursuing deals in Tunisia and Morocco, Abou Moussa said. In June it said it was buying a $102 million stake in Edita Food Industries, the Egyptian maker of snacks including Twinkies, according to its website.

The potential new investments would come from the recently-closed $1.8 billion Actis 4 fund, and aren’t related to the CIB sale which is held by a different fund, he said.

“Our partial exit from CIB is a normal part of the private equity process,” Abou Moussa said. “We backed a very good quality management team, navigated a difficult period and we exited at a profit to our investors.”

Actis’s investments in Egypt include 6.5 percent of CIB and undisclosed stakes in Edita and Emerging Markets Payments Holdings, a payments platform company.

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