April 9, 2014 / 6:00 PM / in 4 years

x-Egypt's Citadel Capital says rights issue fully subscribed

CAIRO, April 9 (Reuters) - Egypt’s Citadel Capital has finalised its equity capital increase to a total of 8 billion Egyptian pounds ($1.15 billion) with its 3.64 billion-pound ($522 million) rights issue fully subscribed, it said on Wednesday.

Two months ago the private equity firm said it had completed a 3.7 billion-pound programme of buying additional stakes in companies in which it has investments to give it majority stakes in its five focus areas of energy, transportation, agrifoods, mining and cement.

The rights issue is one of Egypt’s biggest since the 2011 revolution toppled long-time leader Hosni Mubarak.

“I am not only happy I am elated ... All of this will strengthen our balance sheet tremendously,” Ahmed Heikal, chairman and founder of Citadel Capital, told Reuters.

As part of its transformation into a focused investment holding company, Citadel Capital is planning to sell among others, interests in Algeria and in the glass manufacturing and metallurgy sectors in Egypt, Heikal said.

He expects hundreds of millions of dollars from divestments over the next three years.

“From a capital-intensive hybrid private equity business, we have decisively shifted our business model to become an investment company,” Heikal said.

“Our list of focus industries may be narrower, our risk profile may be substantially lower, but some things have not changed. We still aim to be Africa’s leader in infrastructure and resources.”

The firm, which has around $9.5 billion under management, has suffered losses over the past two years, partly due to economic turmoil in the Arab world.

Following the rights issue Citadel Capital’s paid-in capital will stand at 8 billion pounds, split across 1.6 billion shares, of which 1.2 billion will be common stock and a further 400 million preferred shares after all regulatory measures are taken, the company said in a statement.

Citadel Capital expects to soon close the sale of its 66.1 percent stake in the Sudanese Egyptian Bank as part of the programme of selling non-core assets.

Citadel Capital’s shares closed up 0.92 percent on Wednesday to trade at 4.39 pounds. ($1=6.9751 Egyptian Pounds) (Reporting by Shadia Nasralla and Asma Alsharif; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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