Tanta Flax's workers protesting outside the Cabinet headquarter, 12 February 2014 (Photo: Mohamed Khair-Allah)
Two Egyptian companies will soon return to the state-owned business sector, a move that comes two years after a court ruled that their privatisation was illegal.
The renationalisation of the companies, Tanta Flax and Oil Company and Al-Nasr Company for Steam Boilers, has been approved by Egypt's investment minister Osama Saleh and awaits a financial settlement with the companies' foreign investors, who were once the former owners.
Egypt's Supreme Administrative Court had ruled against the aforementioned companies' privatisation in September 2011 and rejected an appeal by the government in January 2012.
Tanta Flax will become a subsidiary of the Egyptian Petrochemicals Holding Company (ECHEM) as soon as a settlement is reached with its former owner, said Saleh Abul-Yazeed, ECHEM's media advisor.
Saudi investor Abdel Elah Al-Kaaki bought Tanta Flax in 2005 for LE93 million ($13.4 million) and spent LE25 million ($3.6 million) on an early-retirement scheme for 400 workers.
A portion of those workers protested on Sunday to demand their return to the company's workforce of 1,300.
Speaking with Ahram Online, Abul-Yazeed said that the company hadn't yet decided whether the workers would return to the company.
"This is a decision for the state council to make,” he said.
Sixty-year-old Tanta Flax had been losing LE15 million ($2.2 million) annually in the 15 years prior to its privatisation, Abul Yazeed added.
ECHEM achieved a net profit of LE582 million ($84 million) in the financial year 2012/13, depicting a 5.4 percent rise from the previous year.