Abraaj trumps Kellogg by upping Bisco Misr offer

Abraaj said it had raised its offer price for Bisco Misr to 88.09 Egyptian pounds per share, two per cent higher than Kellog’s offer price of 86.36 pounds per share.

Abraaj, the Dubai-based private equity firm, said yesterday it has upped for the third time its offer price for Bisco Misr, the biggest publicly traded Egyptian maker of cakes and biscuits, trumping a bid by Kellog, the world’s biggest breakfast cereal maker.

Abraaj said it had raised its offer price for Bisco Misr to 88.09 Egyptian pounds (Dh45.2) per share, amounting to a total purchase price of 1.03 billion Egyptian pounds, 2 per cent higher than Kellog’s offer price of 86.36 pounds per share.

It has applied to the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority to amend its tender offer for Bisco Misr, the firm said in the statement.

Abraaj and Kellog have been engaged in a bidding war over Bisco since November, when the private equity firm made a tender offer at an initial price of 73.91 Egyptian pounds per share.

“The group’s strategy is to maximise Bisco Misr’s value by raising its local market share, expanding its business regionally, and increasing the company’s production capacity,” Abraaj said in a statement.

“Abraaj is keen to continue investing in Egypt given the country’s broad attractive market, remarkable growth potential, and the positive developments it has recently witnessed.”

Abraaj, which has around US$7.5bn in assets, has invested an estimated $1bn in Egypt through its funds and expects to double this figure in the future, the statement added.

Firms are returning to invest in Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous nation exceeding 85 million, as the government implements a raft of measures to attract foreign investors who left after the onset of the revolution in 2011.

Abraaj this month sold its stake in Moulin d’Or, a leading producer of baked goods in Tunisia.

It also bought this month a stake in Algeria’s biggest logistics firm, La Flèche Bleue Algérienne (FBA), its first investment in the North African country.

It also sold a 21 per cent stake in the Egyptian private sector health care firm Integrated Diagnostics Holdings to the London-based private equity firm Actis.

Abraaj owns stakes in other high-profile companies, including Egypt’s Orascom Construction, the Sharjah-based low-cost carrier Air Arabia and the supermarket chain Spinneys.

dalsaadi@thenational.ae

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Published: December 24, 2014 04:00 AM

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