Egypt's Pioneers eyes more food, real estate acquisitions
Reuters, , Tuesday 3 Mar 2015

Egypt's Pioneers Holding has approved a 3 billion Egyptian pound ($393 million) capital increase and plans to make three more acquisitions this year in the food and real estate sectors.

Pioneers, which has real estate, industrial and financial services operations, said in a statement to the bourse on Tuesday that it plans to issue 170 million shares at 17.63 pounds per share.

Chief Executive Officer Walid Zaki told Reuters he expected to close three more deals by the end of 2015 and that the capital increase would be completed during the second quarter.

"We are focusing heavily on food and real estate because we have gained expertise in these sectors and because we expect strong growth in them," he said by phone.

The company won a $33 million takeover bid on Monday for Egyptian cheese maker Arab Dairy, beating out a subsidiary of Lactalis, Europe's largest dairy group.

Food is seen as a fast-growing industry in the most populous Arab nation of 87 million people. A protracted battle between Kellogg and private equity firm Abraaj for Egyptian cake and biscuit maker Bisco Misr ended in January.

Shares of Pioneers closed up 2.59 percent at 12.28 Egyptian pounds on the Egyptian stock exchange.