UPDATE 1-CEO says US investors could own up to 12 percent of OCI

Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:42am EST

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AMSTERDAM Jan 25 (Reuters) - Egyptian construction and fertiliser company OCI NV expects Microsoft founder Bill Gates to be among leading U.S. investors to own up to 12 percent of the company since listing in Amsterdam.

OCI NV moved its primary listing to the Dutch city to increase its exposure to capital markets, said Chief Executive, Nassef Sawiris. Its shares started trading on Friday and were up 1.4 percent at $39.24 by 1109 GMT.

"We are bringing fresh investors and liquidity," Sawiris said. "U.S. investors will hold a minimum of 4 percent of the shares and up to 12 percent.

"We aspire to be a global player, and this listing gives us exposure to the capital markets," he said, adding that the Amsterdam listing would help raise the group's profile with equity, eurobond, and index investors.

U.S. investors - including Cascade Investment, L.C.C., which is wholly owned by Gates, as well as Southeastern Asset Management and Davis Selected Advisers - have already committed $1 billion to buy shares in the company, marking one of the largest foreign currency inflows to Egypt since the 2011 revolution that swept Hosni Mubarak from power.

Its shares were listed in Amsterdam following an exchange offer for outstanding global depositary receipts of the parent company, Orascom Construction Industries SAE.

OCI NV's American depositary receipts (ADRs) will start trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Sawiris said the company will launch an offer "as soon as possible" to acquire all of OCI's ordinary shares listed in Cairo in exchange for OCI NV shares or a cash amount of 280 Egyptian pounds per share.

OCI, which has an ammonia terminal at Rotterdam port, is turning to Africa, including Tunisia, and Eastern Europe, for infrastructure projects including power and sanitation.

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