Apicorp sells Egypt co stake to Aditya Birla Group

PTI Dubai | Updated on January 04, 2011 Published on December 29, 2010

Mr. Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman, Birla Group. - SHASHI ASHIWAL   -  Business Line

Arab Petroleum Investment Corporation (Apicorp) will sell its 12 per cent stake in Egypt-based Alexandria Carbon Black Company (ACBC) to Aditya Birla Group, the majority shareholder in the company.

By doing so, Apicorp -- the multilateral development bank of the Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (Oapec) -- has kicked off a divestment plan aimed at mobilising funds for a new phase of investments, the firm said in a statement.

The divestment, Apicorp’s first, was approved by its board on December 26. The UAE government owns a 17 per cent stake in Apicorp.

Apicorp Chief Executive and General Manager Ahmad Bin Hamad Al Nuaimi said: “The agreement is further evidence of the rapid divestment potential of our investments. Hence, this sale is part of an investment strategy to redeploy funds for diversification into new midstream sectors, particularly oil refining, storage, transport and shipping.”

He said that the goal of Apicorp’s investment was to help ACBC reach a level of business stability and operational maturity from which it could sustainably accelerate its development.

“Since we invested in ACBC 17 years ago, we have seen the company evolve into the world’s largest production line in the carbon black industry and we now feel it is the right time to monetise the investment,” he added.

ACBC was established in Egypt in January, 1993. Apicorp has been a 12 per cent equity stakeholder, with representation on ACBC’s board, since its establishment. The company produces various grades of carbon black, the basic material used in the manufacture of tyres and other rubber-based products like hoses and inks.

Santrupt B Misra, the Chief Executive of Aditya Birla Group’s carbon black business, said: “Apicorp has played an important role in the growth of ACBC since investing in the company 17 years ago. We are sad that it will no longer be part of ACBC’s investment family, but we are pleased that we will continue our partnership with Apicorp in Alexandria Fiber Company (AFCO), in which we are both equity partners.”

“We also look forward to exploring new investment partnerships with Apicorp in the future,” he added.

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Published on December 29, 2010
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