Planet IB offer $2.23 per share to buy distressed EFG-Hermes

Ahram Online and Reuters, Saturday 2 Jun 2012

More details are unveiled of the Gulf group buy-out bid of Egypt biggest investment bank, EFG-Hermes, roiled by corruption allegations

A group of investors called Planet IB that has launched a bid to buy out EFG-Hermes said Saturday it intended to offer LE13.50 ($2.23) per share for the Egyptian investment bank.

Shares in the bank closed at LE10.99 on Thursday, the last day of Egypt's trading week.

"If EFG-Hermes is serious about entertaining a tender offer from Planet IB, it must immediately postpone the execution of the alternative transaction," it said in a statement, referring to a plan to form a joint venture with Qatar's QInvest.

Planet IB, the group of Gulf investors and bankers behind the iniative, is led by financial industry interests, including Chief Executive Ahmad El-Husseiny, who until last month was managing director of Egypt-based private equity firm Citadel Capital.

Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris offered to finance a takeover bid for EFG-Hermes that would ensure the company is not broken up, the consortium behind the bid said Friday.

On Saturday, Bloomberg reported that EFG-Hermes' shareholders voted in favour of the joint venture with Qatari investment bank QInvest, which would own 60 per cent of the bank.

The vote was confirmed by Doha-based QInvest CEO Shahzad Shahbaz who said by phone Saturday that the agreement would require regulatory approval.

The sons of Egypt's deposed president and two chief executives of EFG-Hermes are to stand trial alongside five others for illegal stock exchange dealings.

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