Egypt court overturns ruling preventing CIB from sale of its investment bank

Ahram Online , Thursday 21 Apr 2016

The court verdict opens the way for Beltone Financial, a unit of billionaire Naguib Sawiris, to acquire CI Capital

Egypt's Commercial International Bank in Cairo (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Egypt's Court of Cassation overturned a ruling obliging the Commercial International Bank (CIB) to submit a mandatory tender offer for claimants shares in its investment banking arm, CI Capital, said the company in a statement Thursday.

The final verdict eliminates one of the main reasons given by Egypt's Financial Regulatory Authority (EFSA) to delay acquisition of CI Capital by financial services firm Beltone Financial.

In February, CIB signed a deal to sell CI Capital to Beltone Financial, a unit of billionaire Naguib Sawiris's Orascom Telecom and Media Technology Holding (OTMT), for EGP 924 million.

EFSA had also cited resolution of OTMT violations of pre-existing pledges to the financial regulator as another reason for delaying its approval of the deal.

But Sawiris said in a newspaper column in late March he feared the government approval necessary to complete his acquisition of CI Capital was under "national security review."

"A decision will be made towards the possible deal for OTMT to acquire CI Capital when all requirements are met," Sherif Samy, chairman of EFSA, told Ahram Online at the time without elaborating. 

OTMT and CIB announced last week that they will still pursue the acquisition deal and Beltone financial extended its offer 14 days to 28 April.

The commercial international bank's share price gained 1.25 percent to trade at EGP 43.1 a share. Beltone Financial surged 9.98 percent to EGP 22.81 a share and OTMT rose 4.11 percent to EGP 0.76 per share in the first hour of trade Thursday.

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