Edita Food Industries: The leading local snacks producer is expanding regionally and has officially inaugurated a plant in Morocco.
While the company has been distributing its products in a number of Arab markets, the new plant is its first investment in production abroad. The plant is located outside Casablanca and started operation in December. Edita has so far invested around LE380 million in the factory that employs 300 employees and workers. It produces Edita’s famous HoHos cakes.
The plant is co-owned by Edita, holding a 77 per cent stake, and the Moroccan Dislog Group, a distributor and logistics operator for brands like P&G, Mars, Kellogg’s, Duracell, Huwaei, and Shell in the Moroccan market. Edita plans a second phase of expansion with further expected investments of LE300 million.
Edita manufactures, markets, and distributes a range of branded baked snack products, including packaged cakes, croissants, rusks (baked wheat snacks), and wafers. The company’s local-brand portfolio includes names such as Molto, Todo, and Freska, and it owns international brands like Twinkies, HoHos, and Tiger Tail in Egypt, Libya, Jordan, and Palestine.
The company reported a 55 per cent increase in net profits in 2021 to reach LE471.9 million on sales that exceeded LE5 billion on the back of higher volumes and prices.
Swvl: The Cairo-born mass-transportation application is now trading on the NASDAQ exchange in New York after its previously announced merger with New York-based Queen’s Gambit Growth Capital was approved by the concerned parties.
Swvl announced plans in July to go public through a merger with the female-backed Queen’s Gambit Growth Capital. The deal valued Swvl at $1.5 billion, and it received $164.6 million of gross proceeds from the transaction.
Gambit Growth Capital is a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), a type of company that looks for promising private companies to make public through IPOs. The shares closed in the green in the new company’s first trading session, and it is considering a dual listing on the Cairo Stock Exchange.
Now located in Dubai, Swvl was founded in Egypt in 2017 and operates a digital platform that allows users to book rides with bus operators along fixed routes. It has a global expansion plan for which it is allocating $300 million until 2025.
Swvl recently acquired German public transport company Door2Door. This followed its August deal to buy Shotl, a Spanish ride-hailing service for bus and van operators that caters to municipalities, corporations, and educational institutions. Shotl will be Swvl’s hub in Europe and will double the company’s markets in 22 cities across 10 countries, including in Brazil and Japan.
Swvl has a network of 5,000 buses, 3,000 of which are in Egypt. It plans to expand into other activities such as logistics, advertising, and financial services at the beginning of 2023.
Integrated Diagnostics Holdings (IDH): The consumer healthcare group’s owners now include the International Finance Corporation (IFC) with a five per cent stake. The IFC and its Middle East and North Africa (MENA) fund started investing in the company in May, when its shares, already traded on the London Stock Exchange, started trading on the Cairo bourse.
According to a company statement, the acquisition comes as part of a larger overall engagement between IDH and IFC that includes a $60 million debt-financing package to help finance IDH’s expansion plans in Pakistan. The two parties have co-partnered before in investments in Nigeria in 2018.
The group’s core brands include Al-Borg, Al-Borg Scan and Al-Mokhtabar in Egypt, as well as Biolab (Jordan), Ultralab and Al-Mokhtabar Sudan (both in Sudan), and Echo-Lab (Nigeria).
Fawry: The e-payment platform is witnessing a lot of developments. Soon after it was announced that the Abu Dhabi Wealth Fund was interested in buying a stake, two major public banks began showing interest in its shares.
Media reports say that the National Bank of Egypt (NBE), Egypt’s largest bank, has increased its stake in Fawry to 12 per cent. The deal came just a few days after Banque Misr almost doubled its holdings to 15 per cent in a deal that cost LE1.47 billion.
The sellers are international investors. The two banks now own more than 28 per cent of the company, up from around 13.2 per cent before the deals.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 7 April, 2022 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly.