Gabr speaks out on Emaar furor, Artoc chief refutes newspaper talk

Abdel-Rahman Hussein
3 Min Read

CAIRO: Artoc Chairman Mohammed Shafik Gabr spoke to the press Monday on the infamous Emaar project which had tongues wagging in the Egyptian press over Gabr’s reasons for selling his stake in the company to his Emirate partners.

Citing “differences between him and his then partners Dubai firm Emaar Properties, Gabr said “the partnership couldn’t continue .

Gabr continued: “The Dubai partners had 40% and wanted a majority stake so negotiations began with us in on it. The negotiations became public and differences arose.

He added, “I left in January 2007. Negotiations began to assess the value of assets until we reached an agreed upon valuation.

Artoc had signed a partnership with Emaar Properties to form Emaar Egypt, which developed real estate in places such as Moqqatam, New Cairo and Sidi Abdel-Rahman in Alexandria.

Egyptian newspapers reported at the time that Artoc had initially invested LE 50 million and sold their stake to Emaar Properties for LE 1 billion pounds, figures which Gabr refuted.

The Egyptian stake in the capital investment, which was 60 percent, totaled over LE 226 million out of the LE 377-million-initial-capital invested, according to Gabr.

Gabr also said that the Egyptian stake was sold for LE 804 million, not LE 1 billion as reported, and that this number included the initial Egyptian capital invested.

Artoc spokesperson Laila Shaker released a statement saying Artoc offered to buy out Emaar Properties for the same figure but in the end “negotiations were finalized to the complete satisfaction of both sides.

In the same meeting Gabr also called for speedy privatization in Egypt, or as an alternative, he called for all public sector companies to be distributed as shares to the people as was the case in eastern Europe after the fall of Communism.

“The citizen must own the public sector, he said.

Gabr also said that the three important factors for real economic development were a high growth rate of not less than 7 percent, human development for the job market and closing the gap between rich and poor.

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