Egyptian Steel Set To Go Public

Steel factory

VENTURES AFRICA- Egyptian Steel chairperson, Ahmed Abu Hashima, has revealed plans to go public as the company prepares to sell some of its shares on the stock exchange.

According to Hashima, the Qatari and Egyptian steel (ES) venture is currently in discussion with an international company who will help it manage the IPO.

Although the company has made the decision to go public, it has however not set a date or the amount it is offering.

Early this month, the Egyptian government had approved a new tax that would deduct 10 per cent from any profits companies make in IPOs but ES chairperson said the tax would not change the company’s plan.

“I know about this tax but we are determined on going into the exchange” he said.

Hashima also disclosed that ES, along with its Qatari partners, have set up a cement company under the name “Egyptian Cement”. He explained that the venture will seek to acquire one out of the seven cement license the Egyptian government is planning to offer.

Around $250 million is expected to be invested in the new cement plant, which will have an annual capacity of 1.5-1.8 million tons, Abu Hashima said. After this, he plans to go into tile production.

Hashima who is relatively a new face in Egyptian business said he plans to have 20 percent to 25 percent of Egypt’s steel market after “we start production in all of our plants”.

With the aim of starting production by 2014, ES is currently building a steel plant in Beni Suef with total investment amounting to EGP 1.5 billion.

“There is a growing demand for steel and Ezz Steel is not building any new factories,” Abu Hashima said, referring to the company founded by Ahmed Ezz — the majority shareholder of Ezz Steel, Egypt’s largest steel maker — who is currently in prison on corruption charges.