MCQ share price surges near LE 82 on news, heavy trading
CAIRO: Cimpor Inversiones SA increased its offer to buy 100 percent of Misr Cement Qena (MCQ) to LE 80 per share Monday, surpassing the offer made late last week by Arab Swiss Engineering Company (Asec) by LE 5 per share.
Cimpor s offer was approved mid-day yesterday by the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) and is valid until March 5. Cimpor, the Spanish-based subsidiary of Portugal s largest cement group Cimpor Cimento de Portugal, had offered LE 67 per share last week before Asec submitted its offer of LE 75 per share. Asec is a Citadel Capital subsidiary and one of the country s largest cement producers.
Citadel declined to comment on the Cimpor offer Monday.
At mid-day trading Monday, MCQ shares held at LE 81.79, up 0.8 percent. The Cairo and Alexandria Stock Exchange (Case) is investigating transactions made late last week and early this week for a possible leak of the Cimpor offer before it was submitted mid-day Sunday.
In a statement to the Case, Orascom Construction Industries declined it has intentions to enter the bidding for MCQ.
Public institutions, including the National Bank of Egypt, National Investment Bank, and Misr Insurance, own 40 percent of MCQ, with the rest of shares divided among private institutions and retail investors. The Ministry of Investment issued a statement one day after the initial Cimpor offer was made Feb. 11, declaring the government has no intentions to sell public company shares in cement producers at the current time.
MCQ is one of the remaining four partially-public cement producers and one of the most lucrative with 1.7 million tons of annual production capacity and a corporate tax exemption through 2012. According to its final 2006 figures, the company reported net income up 90 percent to LE 236 million on LE 522 million in revenues.
In late 2006, the company also announced plans to add new production facilities with investments of LE 600 million. The planned upgrades are expected to be operational in late 2008, increasing the company s annual capacity by 1.5 million tons.