A solid turnout

Najla Moussa
4 Min Read

CAIRO: The Orascom companies are experiencing a good week, following a good year. Mobinil, one of the companies under Orascom Telecom Holding (OTH), announced yesterday their full year 2005 results, and Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) announced that it has signed an initial agreement with Sonatrach, the Algerian state-owned oil and gas company.

MobiNil reported increases on all fronts. During 2005, active subscribers increased by 67 percent YoY. Net active additions also increased by a whopping 162 percent compared to 2004, reaching 2.680 million active subscriber additions. Net year end 2005 revenues reached LE 5,364 million, with an increase of 19 percent YoY. Income before taxes increased by 43 percent YoY to reach LE1,812 million, while net income increased by 65 percent to reach LE 1,444 million. On the same day, another Sawiris holding company, OCI, also announced that it has signed an initial agreement with Sonatrach for the establishment of a one million ton per year Greenfield ammonia/urea plant in Algeria for a total investment cost of $746 million.

OCI will act as lead project developer and will have a 51 percent stake in the new venture, while Sonatrach will own the remaining 49 percent.

OCI intends to obtain the required long-term project finance debt in a limited recourse structure from a combination of local Algerian and international banks.

The project will be shortly submitted for approval to the Algerian National Council for Investments.

Based on the agreement and following necessary approvals, Sonatrach will also enter into a 20-year gas supply agreement with the new venture.

Société Général has been appointed as the financial advisor and White & Case (London) has been appointed as the legal advisor for the new venture.

The plant is expected to be built in the industrial zone at Arzew near the Mediterranean Sea shoreline. In other Sawiris-related news, Italian Enel announced the sale of its remaining 37.25 percent stake in Wind to Weather Investments Group, giving full control to the holding company led by Egyptian businessman Naguib Sawiris.

Enel had sold 62.75 percent of its stake in Wind, Italy’s second largest fixed line operator, to Weather Investments Group in a deal worth 3.00 billion Euros ($3.59 billion – equity value).

Enel finally exercised its option to sell the remaining 37.25 percent, and 6.28 percent was sold to one of Weather’s subsidiaries, while the remaining stake was sold to the holding company itself. Enel also raised its stake in Weather Investments Group from 5 percent to 26.1 percent as a result of the exercise of the put and call agreements set up in May 2005 when the initial 62.75 percent was acquired. The Wind acquisition is a private investment made by Naguib Sawiris. It is not part of OTH, on which he presides as Chairman and CEO.

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