CAIRO: Dubai-based Emaar Properties has acquired Artoc Group’s 60 percent share in Emaar Misr for $142 million (LE 809 million), capping the much publicized conflict begun in the last quarter of 2006.
The announcement came separately from both sides on Thursday, one day after the Holding Company for Tourism (HCT) initiated legal action to reclaim the Sidi Abdel Rahman land set to be the site for the $10 billion Marasi resort.
Neither side would speak publicly to the media and chose to release statements instead. In Artoc’s statement, the company did not reveal the value of the transaction, but complained it was forced to pay all taxes due to the Egyptian Government despite an earlier agreement with Emaar Properties to share the tax. The tax amount was not disclosed.
Emaar, on the other hand, ignored the tax issue and said it was looking forward to continuing the ongoing Uptown Cairo project in El Mokattam, as well as Marasi.
“We have received full assurances from the Government of Egypt that the Marasi project will be reinstated upon the successful completion of the deal, Emaar Properties Chairman Mohamed Alabbar said. “Both parties have worked out all issues to reach an agreement and Emaar Properties is in the process of taking control of the company today.
On Thursday, HCT also released a statement announcing it had suspended land reclamation procedures and granted Emaar Misr three more business days to complete the transaction.
Earlier this week, the Capital Market Authority (CMA) declined Emaar Misr’s application for share-listing Sunday, citing the company’s failure to submit financial statements reflecting the company’s activities over a one-year period.
Although Emaar Misr announced it had filed an appeal to the CMA, the company’s new owner seems to have backed off the process. In his statement, Alabbar said the company respects “the decision of the Egyptian Government, represented by the Cairo Stock Exchange listing authority, not to list the shares of Emaar Misr as per their regulations.
Emaar Misr now controls more than LE 6 billion in assets. The company announced earlier this month it has recorded LE 4 million in profits after its first year in operation.
As of press time, Artoc Group representatives were not available for comment. But in the company’s statement released Thursday, the company said it will announce “future real estate plans by May, with world renowned partners.
Al Ezz Steel reports LE 1 billion consolidated bottom line
Al Ezz Steel announced final results for 2006, recording LE 995 million in net income on the back of LE 11.6 billion in operating revenues.
The results are the first consolidated figures released after the Al Ezz strengthened its hold on Al Ezz Dekheila Steel Alexandria in 2006, raising its share from 21 percent to 54 percent. Al Ezz had reported LE 450 million in net income in 2005.
Despite the recently levied cement and steel export duty, most analysts expect Al Ezz will continue to record strong growth over the coming years since most of the company’s exports are produced in its free zone facility. Since the start of 2007, the company also has announced plans for two manufacturing plants in Egypt and Algeria to fuel a higher growth rate.
One possible obstacle for Al Ezz lies in the much anticipated report of the government’s anti-trust commission on the cement and steel industries due out by mid-summer. Al Ezz controls 67 percent of the local steel market and has been directed much criticism regarding its role in the recent increases in sector prices.