File closed on bid by CRH

File closed on bid by CRH
Published: 25 May 2004

Egypt’s Misr Beni Suef Cement (MBSC) said on Monday its file on a possible takeover by Irish construction company CRH Plc was "completely finished", quashing rumours of a possible takeover.

Takeover talk surrounding the small Egyptian cement producer has been rife on the bourse, lifting the entire sector. Analysts say MBSC is one of the most likely acquisition targets as it is one of the few Egyptian cement firms with no foreign ownership and has high growth prospects.  But Vice President El-Sayed Aly Mohamed said there had been no talks since the negotiations with CRH in May last year and there had been no approaches from other firms since an offer for MBSC that was withdrawn in July that year.

Mohamed said he saw no increase in local demand for cement where prices were much stronger and where it was more profitable for his firm to sell than in export markets.  Analysts say cement prices are around 260 pounds a tonne in the local market.  "There is more than enough demand for (cement) in the export market but it depends on the price. I prefer to sell locally as the prices are better," he said. "Exports - the packing and freight and transport - needs a lot of money."

He said European demand was increasing and he saw high demand for Egyptian cement in Africa, especially neighbouring Sudan, which is close to signing a peace deal to end more than two decades of civil war in the south of the country. It will then look to reconstruct its shattered infrastructure.