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Omar Effendi verdict revealed corruption in public sector: Khaled Ali

After the verdict of the Administrative Court to annul the deal that saw a Saudi businessman purchase 90 per cent of chain store Omar Effendi, many companies are hoping to be restored to the public sector

Bassem Abou Alabass, Saturday 7 May 2011
Omar Effendi
The subsidiary of Omar Effendi chain store in Alexandria
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“El-Nubaria for Agricultural Engineering Company and Tanta for linen are the first,” Khaled Ali the chairman of Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights told Ahram Online. "It will return to Egyptian hands again … public sector," he added.

"It was a historic verdict,” comments Khaled, referring to the cancellation by the Administrative Court of a deal struck during the Mubarak years in which Saudi businessman ‎Gamil Ben Abdel Rahman Al-Kanbit purchase ‎90 per cent of department store chain Omar ‎Effendi.

“Several obstacles and barriers faced us to reach this result, as the attorneys delayed about 60 days after the deal completed to sue Al-Kanbit,” Khaled clarified

Omar Effendi was losing ground until 2006, when it was sold to the Saudi company Anwal Group. The chain has only seen losses since and is still heavily in debt.

Last December, an acquisition deal was dropped. The Arab Investment Development Company (AID), which was due to buy an 85 per cent stake in the stores, cancelled the deal as Anwal didn’t pay its financial obligations to the tax authority, which seized control of the department store’s bank accounts in order to collect some LE98 million ($17.5 million) in unpaid taxes since 2006.

Omar Effendi was established in 1856 and is one of Egypt's most famous chain stores.

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