Home » Following Abu Dhabi move, firm linked to Egypt’s richest sells stake in U.S. company

Following Abu Dhabi move, firm linked to Egypt’s richest sells stake in U.S. company

Sawiris restates confidence in transaction's value creation

by Omokolade Ajayi
Nassef Sawiris

OCI Global, the leading producer and distributor of nitrogen and methanol products, led by Egypt’s richest man Nassef Sawiris, has agreed to sell its entire 100-percent stake in the American fertilizer producer Iowa Fertilizer Company (IFCO) to Koch Industries.

The cash-free, debt-free deal, valued at $3.6 billion, follows a competitive process, reshaping OCI’s financial landscape and advancing its strategic vision. The transaction solidifies Nassef Sawiris’ reputation as an astute dealmaker.

Proceeds to reduce debts and unlock shareholder value

The deal coincides with Sawiris’ decision to relocate his family office to Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) — a move that is expected to position OCI for future growth opportunities and enhance its focus on lower carbon initiatives.

OCI, following the $3.6-billion transaction, plans to reduce holding company debt and unlock value for shareholders. This includes consideration of a capital return — in line with its existing framework — alongside potential future investments in decarbonization growth projects.

Nassef Sawiris restates confidence in transaction’s value creation

Sawiris, the chairman of OCI, reaffirms his confidence in the recently announced sale, highlighting its potential to create shareholder value through capital reallocation. “This transaction marks a transformative step in our journey to enhance shareholder value and sharpen our focus on low-carbon initiatives,” Sawiris declared.

Sawiris expressed optimism about IFCO’s future under Koch Industries, positioning the company for robust growth. Ahmed El Hoshy, CEO of OCI, acknowledged IFCO’s success since its commissioning in April 2017, noting that the sale is a testament to the team’s efforts and marks an evolution in OCI’s journey to create long-term sustainable value.

Antitrust approvals pending, transaction expected to conclude in 2024

The sale is contingent on obtaining certain U.S. antitrust approvals and customary closing conditions. The transaction is expected to conclude in 2024, pending regulatory clearances. Nassef Sawiris expressed confidence in IFCO’s future under Koch Industries’ stewardship and the potential for robust growth.

With a $7.3-billion fortune, according to U.S. business magazine Forbes, Nassef Sawiris derived the majority of his wealth from a 6-percent stake in German sportswear maker Adidas and a 38.58-percent stake in OCI, while his brother Samih Sawiris holds a 4.96-percent stake in the global producer and distributor of nitrogen and methanol products.

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