Egypt's Beltone Financial offers itself for EFG Hermes takeover

CAIRO, June 19 Thu Jun 19, 2014 9:05am EDT

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CAIRO, June 19 (Reuters) - Egypt's Beltone Financial Holding will offer itself for acquisition by EFG Hermes if it is successful with a joint bid for a 20 percent stake in the investment bank, according to the offer document seen by Reuters ahead of its publication on Friday.

Beltone and billionaire Naguib Sawiris are together offering $257 million for the EFG stake, with the offer document stating that EFG will also be granted the chance to take over the financial group that owns 17 companies specialising in investment and asset management activities among other operations.

Egypt's financial regulator approved the Beltone-Sawiris offer on Wednesday and said it would stand for 10 working days after its official publication.

"A proposal will be made to the targeted company in the offer (EFG) that will include the acquisition of Beltone Financial Holding ... which will contribute to the growth of the investment banking sector in Egypt," the offer document said.

Officials from Beltone could not immediately be reached for comment.

Beltone has a market value of about 277 million Egyptian pounds ($38.7 million) and is one of Egypt's largest financial groups.

An EFG official, however, said the bank would not be interested in buying Beltone.

"EFG's board of directors stated clearly their unwillingness to acquire any company in Egypt because its plans are regional," the company official told Reuters.

EFG Hermes is one of the Middle East's biggest investment banks, with operations in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman and Qatar.

"We do not want to acquire Beltone because it is not in the interest of EFG Hermes investors," the official added. ($1 = 7.1501 Egyptian Pounds) (Reporting by Ehab Farouk; Writing by Asma Alsharif; Editing by David Goodman)

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