Citadel Capital to raise $2.25bn for oil refinery

El Ebiary, left, and El Housseiny at a press conference in Dubai yesterday. (DENNIS B MALLARI)

Citadel Capital, an Egyptian private equity firm, expects to raise $2.25 billion (Dh8.26bn) financing for an oil refinery, the company's managing director said.

"We are planning to close very large financing in April, a package of $2.25 billion. I think it is going to be one of the largest transactions undertaken by a private equity firm in Egypt," said Ahmed El Housseiny. "It's a greenfield refinery and the value of the project is $2.25bn."

The plant, that will be built and run by Egyptian Refining Company, is expected to be operational by late 2013, he said.

Citadel Capital, that has $8.3 billion in investments under control in 15 industries, accelerated its deal pace in the later half of last year under a strategy of incrementally building our large deals, its executives said.

Citadel will emphasise major investments in three new platform companies, in solid waste management, transportation and agriculture industries, said Abdalla El Ebiary, also Managing Director at the firm.

On financing, El Housseiny said the change in mix of funding providers, more reliance on developmental financial institutions and multi laterals would be the theme of 2010.

PE players said that trade sales and IPOs would continue to remain exit routes.

"The exit routes will continue to be trade sales, IPOs. This region is growing a lot in terms of FDI flows; from $16bn to $128bn in about 5-6 years; intra and inter mergers and acquisition activity has picked up; there is trade sale activity. You see global multinationals, regional corporates looking to buy and sell and restructure their portfolio. There is also secondary activity in PE industry - one PE player wanting to sell to the other. All that will remain a vibrant source of exit," Omar Lodhi, Executive Director, Abraaj Capital told Emirates Business.

Earnings up

Egypt's Citadel Capital yesterday posted 2009 net earnings of E£211.4 million (Dh141.75m) for 2009, up from E£23.3m in 2008.

The private equity firm, which controls $8.3 billion in investments, said revenue rose to E£438.9m in 2009. (Reuters)


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