EFG-Hermes Shares Surge as Billionaire Sawiris Seeks Stake

EFG-Hermes Holding SAE shares soared as investors including Beltone Financial Holding and Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris said they’re seeking a 20 percent stake in Egypt’s biggest publicly-traded investment bank.

Cairo-based Beltone Financial, which is managing the deal, Beltone Capital and New Egypt Investment Fund B.V. are offering 16 Egyptian pounds a share, valuing the stake at 1.83 billion pounds ($256 million), according to a regulatory filing today. Amsterdam-based New Egypt Investment is owned by Sawiris, he said today in a text message.

Shares in EFG-Hermes climbed 9.9 percent to 14.48 pounds at the close in Cairo, while those of Beltone Financial added 9 percent to 27.38 pounds.

New Egypt Investment will own 17.82 percent of EFG-Hermes after the purchase, the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority said in a statement. That will make it the largest shareholder in the investment bank, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Beltone Financial and Beltone Capital will each control 1.09 percent, according to the EFSA.

Financing for the deal has been secured, Osama Rashad, Beltone Financial’s investor relations manager, said by phone, declining to give further information.

“It’s pretty significant, especially at current market prices,” Wafik Dawood, director of institutional sales at Cairo-based Mega Investments Securities, said today by e-mail.

The investment bank’s stock has gained 66 percent this year. Shares were suspended in Cairo yesterday, with the regulator announcing today it had canceled all trades for June 4. Today’s opening price was set at 13.17 pounds.

EFG-Hermes’ planned merger with Qatari investment bank QInvest LLC collapsed in May last year. The company has been pursuing a cost-cutting plan since then.

The benchmark EGX30 Index rose 4.7 percent, the biggest gain since July, to 8,498.65.

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