An Egyptian company controlled by Lafarge (and Greece’s Titan has offered to buy an 11.55 per cent stake in Egypt’s Alexandria Portland Cement , the bourse said on Wednesday. A statement from the stock exchange said Beni Suef Cement was offering to buy 1,385,863 million shares in Alexandria cement at 30 pounds ($5.14) a share, valuing the offer at about 41.6 million pounds. Lafarge and Titan, which have a controlling interest in Beni Suef, also own a controlling stake in Alexandria Cement. An exact breakdown of existing holdings in the firms was not immediately available.
Officials at Alexandria Cement could not immediately be reached to comment. Dealers said the move appeared to be part of a share consolidation move, but they said it also reflected positively on the whole Egyptian cement sector, indicating continuing foreign interest. Egyptian cement firms are expected to produce strong results for 2004 on the back of high local cement prices last year and growing exports, partly helped by a sharp weakening of the Egyptian pound since a currency flotation in 2003.