Qalaa Holding divestments will see it focus more on cement
Egypt/Sudan: According to Daily News Egypt, Qalaa Holding for Investment has signed an agreement with Financial Holding International (FHI) to sell FHI some of Qalaa's units. This is in line with Qalaa's aim to exit from some of its non-basic businesses and to reduce its consolidated debts of US$105m.
Qalaa will sell FHI its stakes in MENA Homes, Grandview and Dina Farms Land Companies, which will be separated from Dina for Agricultural Investments. In return, Qalaa will buy FHI's stakes in several affiliated companies, including cement producer ASEC Holding, as well as Taqa Arabia and Mashreq Petroleum in the energy sector. Qalaa will also buy FHI's stakes in Nile Logistics International in the Transport and logistics sector, Dina Farms Supermarkets in the retail sector and United Company for Foundries (UCF) in the metallurgical industry sector. The deal is expected to be finalised by December 2015, after the customary conditions and requirements are met.
Abdallah El-Ebiary, managing director of Qalaa's cement division, said that the cement sector is a main strategic area for Qalaa and that it has no intention of exiting it, nor the transport and energy sectors. He added that FHI plans to build a new pulveriser mill at the ASEC Cement plant in Minya, Egypt within the company's plan to convert to alternative energy due to the energy deficit and gas crisis. The cost will be US$30.2m and it will be built in the fourth quarter of 2015. "The company's strategy for the next period is to diversify to new and cheap energy sources instead of the traditional and unavailable sources. The investment cost is at US$30.2m, with US$1.31m for a pulveriser mill and US$11.8m for alternative fuel production," said El-Ebiary.
Qalaa also plans to increase the production capacity of its Takamol cement plant in Sudan from 430,000t/yr to 800,000t/yr in 2016. Qalaa aims to establish a new coal mine for the plant. The plant is 51% owned by ASEC Cement and 49% controlled by the Sudanese Social Security Investment Authority (SSIA), the entity that manages all pension funds in Sudan.