At the end of the validity term of the Public Tender Offer for Suez Cement Company, Ciments Francais (Italcementi Group) which launched the bid with a consortium of international investors on 6 December 2004, has received an amount of just 3,733,788 shares, equal to 5.8 per cent of Suez Cement Company’s capital. In accordance with the rules governing the Offer, Ciments Francais has decided to acquire the shares brought into the bid and will buy this stake in Suez Cement for $48m, far below the 65.9 per cent stake it originally wanted to buy.
A spokesman for Italcementi said Egypt’s government, which holds a 45 percent stake in Suez, had asked for a price above the 80.05 Egyptian pounds (US$13.10) per share offered. "Our offer still stands. It hasn’t been a complete success, but we are consolidating our presence in Egypt," the spokesman said, adding the 5.8 percent stake was part of Suez’ free-float.
He said the price was reasonable considering the conditions Egypt imposed on the deal, such as keeping Suez’ workforce.
After the result of the Offer, Italcementi Group reaffirms its willingness to remain one of the leading investor on the cement market in Egypt and a strategic partner of Suez Cement Company, a role which it stepped into as far back as 2001 when the Egyptian government appointed it to set up the privatisation process.