CAIRO Jan 18 Bill Gates is among a group of
U.S. investors which has committed $1 billion to buy a stake in
Egyptian construction and fertiliser company OCI NV in one of
the largest foreign currency inflows to Egypt since the 2011
revolution that swept Hosni Mubarak from power.
OCI NV said on Friday it had launched an exchange offer to
acquire all of the outstanding global depositary receipts of
parent firm Orascom Construction Industries SAE in
exchange for ordinary shares in OCI NV.
The transaction also consists of an offer to acquire all of
OCI's ordinary shares in exchange for OCI NV shares or a cash
amount of 280 Egyptian pounds ($42.41) per share, a 4 percent
premium to Thursday's closing price.
OCI NV is a wholly owned subsidiary of OCI SAE and the
umbrella for OCI's international operations.
It was due to start trading on the NYSE Euronext in
Amsterdam on Jan. 25, and plans to subsequently launch an
American Depository Receipts programme on the New York Stock
Exchange, the statement said.
OCI NV said it had obtained commitments in excess of $2
billion from participating investors to pay shareholders who
elect to sell their OCI ordinary shares for cash.
This includes $1 billion from U.S. investors comprising
Cascade Investment, L.C.C., which is wholly owned by Bill Gates,
as well as Southeastern Asset Management and Davis Selected
Advisers, it said.
"This transaction is proof of the existing international
appetite to invest in Egypt and bodes well for the Egyptian
economy with more than $1 billion committed by U.S. investors,"
OCI CEO Nassef Sawiris said in a statement.
"We expect our new profile to positively impact the Group's
ability to expand in Egypt and pursue its growth strategy."
OCI NV expects the transaction to allow it deeper access to
capital markets such as the Eurobond market, an enhanced
investor profile and better growth opportunities.