May 14, 2013 / 10:06 AM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-OCI parent cuts offer price in Egypt delisting plan

* OCI NV to press ahead with plan held up by Egypt govt

* Cuts cash value of offer to 255 pounds from 280 pounds

* OCI’s Cairo-listed shares down 2 percent (Adds analyst comment, detail, background, shares)

CAIRO, May 14 (Reuters) - The Dutch-listed parent of Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) has cut the price of a tender offer that is likely to see the Egyptian construction and fertiliser group delist from the Cairo stock exchange.

OCI NV said on Tuesday it would offer holders of OCI’s Egypt-listed shares the option of swapping them for OCI NV shares or a cash alternative of 255 Egyptian pounds per share. That is down from the 280 pounds per share offered in January.

OCI NV, which already owns about 70 percent of the Egypt-listed shares, did not give a reason for reducing the offer, though analysts said it was not a surprise after a fall in the share price of the Cairo-listed stock.

OCI is run by one of Egypt’s most prominent Christian families, the Sawiris, and the plan to delist one of Egypt’s biggest companies from the Cairo stock exchange has been resisted by the country’s Islamist-led government.

The original tender offer was held up by a tax dispute that also led the government to place a travel ban on OCI chief executive Nassef Sawiris and his father Onsi. In addition, the regulator had asked for clarifications that held up the deal.

The tax dispute was settled last month when OCI agreed to pay 7.1 billion Egyptian pounds ($1 billion) to the government. The travel ban was then lifted.

“The decline in the offered price per share was expected as the share price went down on the tax dispute and has never gone up since then to 280 pounds and that is why they lowered the price,” said CI Capital construction analyst Alia El Mehelmy.

OCI NV has defended the planned delisting from Cairo, saying its Amsterdam base gives it greater access to international capital markets.

OCI NV said in January it had commitments in excess of $2 billion from investors, including Microsoft founder Bill Gates, to pay OCI shareholders that elect to sell their ordinary shares for cash.

At 0935 GMT, OCI’s Cairo-listed shares were down 2 percent at 240.99 pounds.

$1 = 6.9645 Egyptian pounds Reporting by Yasmine Saleh and Tom Perry; Editing by David Holmes and Mark Potter

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