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Mohamed Frikha’s Syphax Airlines partners with local aviation firm to provide online pilot training

The training will help update its pilots’ skills and provide a better customer experience. 

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Syphax Airlines. ©Billionaires.Africa

Syphax Airlines has partnered with Avsoft International on a long-term contract for online pilot training. The training will help update its pilots’ skills and provide a better customer experience. 

Syphax Airlines is a hybrid Tunisian airline owned by multimillionaire Mohamed Frikha.

Avsoft International will provide online pilot training courses for initial and recurrent training and a learning management system (LMS) to Syphax Airline. 

Commenting on the partnership, Frikha said the training courses cover his company’s needs and are high quality. He added that the “LMS provides the ideal training environment we require for maintaining pilot training proficiency and regulatory compliance.”

Frikha is opting for Avsoft as it delivers detailed and practical online aviation courses on any browser, device and LMS, online and offline. 

The company’s LMS offers courses structured for initial and recurrent training, taking into account pilot recency* due dates with comprehensive reporting facilities. This will enable it to administer all courses and exam results to satisfy regulatory requirements.

In 2015, the airline suspended operations due to piling debt triggered by a drop in Tunisian tourism. The fall came after two terrorist attacks in Tunisia at the Bardo National Museum attack and Sousse beach, which claimed the lives of 60 people, mostly European tourists. 

The closure of airspace in Libya and a fierce rivalry with state-owned Tunisair further roped it into severe debt problems, making investors withdraw investments. This was the company’s most prominent financial scandal, as its debts climbed to about €105 million ($124 million), Tour Mag reported

According to Tour Mag, Syphax had not paid for fuel in several months and probably owed the fuel provider, AGIL, millions of dollars. It also failed to pay a bill of €4.5 million ($5.3 million) to the Office of Civil Aviation and Airports. Frikha was said to have injected €27.34 million ($32 million) from his own pocket into the business.

*Recency is regulations stipulating that a pilot must have successfully carried out three takeoffs and landings — at least one using the cockpit’s autoland facility — within the previous 90 days.

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Led by Egypt’s richest family, Orascom Construction sees profit drop 43.1 percent in Q1 2022

Nassef Sawiris owns 28.97 percent of the multinational construction group, or 33,825,323 shares.

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Nassef Sawiris.

Despite reporting a double-digit percent increase in profit in 2021 due to improved collections and liquidity management, Orascom Construction reported a profit of $15.3 million at the end of the first six months of 2021.

Orascom Construction is Egypt’s richest family-founded multinational engineering and construction corporation.

The leading engineering and construction behemoth reported a profit of $15.3 million in the first quarter of 2022, down more than 43.1 percent from the $26.9 million in profit reported in the first quarter of 2021, according to recently published financial results.

Despite a 20-percent increase in revenue from $816.6 million to $979.9 million, the group’s earnings power was hampered by a surge in direct costs above $880 million, combined with an increase in operating expenses during the period under review.

Osama Bishai, CEO of Orascom Construction, commented on the financial performance, saying: “We indicated in the previous quarter that we expected to experience challenges associated with the changing global economic environment.”

“As always, we continue to prioritize project controls, cost optimization, supply chain, and collections. Our new awards strategy is also unchanged as we continue to focus on high-quality projects across our geographies in sectors in which we are competitive,” he said.

The group was able to keep its project backlog at $5.5 billion by awarding $617.5 million in new contracts during the first quarter of 2022.

Despite the depreciation of the Egyptian pound, the backlog is consistent with the level achieved a year ago, as it was supported by high-profile infrastructure projects in Egypt denominated in foreign currency, as well as projects in other markets in the Middle East, Africa and the United States.

As part of its commitment to shareholders, the board proposed a $27-million dividend distribution to be paid in the third quarter of 2022. This is the group’s fifth consecutive year of dividend payments.

Orascom Construction is a leading global engineering and construction contractor, with active operations and investments in the Middle East, Africa, and the United States.

Egypt’s richest man Nassef Sawiris owns 28.97 percent of the group, or 33,825,323 ordinary shares, while OS Private Trust Company owns 51.8 percent of the Egypt-based contractor for the benefit of the Sawiris family.

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Led by Egyptian exec Pakinam Kafafi, TAQA Arabia acquires Rosetta Energy’s natural gas subsidiary

With the acquisition, the Cairo-based energy company plans to expand its portfolio in Africa and the Middle East.

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Pakinam Kafafi.

The liquefied natural gas (LNG) arm of Rosetta Energy, an international energy developer focused on emerging markets in Africa and the Middle East, has been acquired by TAQA Arabia, a Cairo-based private-sector energy distribution company led by CEO Pakinam Kafafi.

With the acquisition of Rosetta, led by Karim Shaaban, the Cairo-based energy company is expected to expand its business portfolio in Egypt, Africa, and the Middle East.

According to Shaaban, CEO of Rosetta, the partnership will combine TAQA’s strong gas distribution capabilities, market access, and established track record with Rosetta’s hands-on LNG expertise and agile approach.

Kafafi said the acquisition aligns with the group’s strategic expansion roadmap, as the energy company moves to deepen its energy transmission and distribution.

“This new acquisition supports TAQA’s strategy of diversifying the scope of its energy transmission and distribution services to best cater to the growing needs of its clients and customers,” she said. “This is also in line with TAQA’s strategy and the Egyptian government’s plan to expand natural gas use across the country.”

Following the acquisition of GENCO (Gas & Energy Company) in 2006, TAQA Arabia has grown into Egypt’s largest private-sector energy distribution company.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company was forced to postpone its highly anticipated IPO last year.

Named one of Egypt’s top 50 influential women in 2016, Kafafi played an instrumental role in TAQA’s evolution by acquiring and consolidating several gas distribution companies from BG, ENI, Edison, and AMEC.

Her experience and track record as an efficient and talented leader is invaluable to TAQA Arabia, as she led the group’s business diversification strategy into power generation and distribution and later orchestrated TAQA Arabia’s entry into the renewable energy market.

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Led by Egyptian exec Karim Awad, EFG Hermes raises capital by $52.9 million

The capital raise will be funded by the group’s retained earnings and will be distributed over 194.61 million shares.

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Egyptian executive Karim Awad.

EFG Hermes Holding, a Cairo-based financial services group led by Egyptian businessman Karim Awad, has received shareholder approval to increase its capital base by EGP973.07 million ($52.9 million) through bonus share distribution.

According to a recent announcement, the capital raise was approved by shareholders at the firm’s recently held ordinary general meeting in line with the financial services group’s strategic expansion plans.

The capital raise will be funded by the group’s retained earnings and will be distributed over 194.61 million shares at a nominal value of EGP5 ($0.2734) per share, with one bonus share granted for every five owned shares.

The total issued capital of EFG Hermes will increase to EGP5.83 billion ($317.8 million) from EGP4.86 billion ($265 million).

The transaction, which will boost the group’s share capital by EGP 973.07 million ($52.9 million), is expected to strengthen the group’s position as a leading Egyptian financial services provider.

EFG Hermes Holding is a financial services conglomerate with operations in the Middle East, North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and South Asia.

Under the leadership of Awad, the group CEO since 2013, it has secured leadership positions in securities brokerage, asset management, investment banking, private equity, and research.

Under Awad, the company reported a double-digit percentage increase in profit at the end of 2021, as revenue surpassed EGP6 billion ($330 million) to EGP6.1 billion ($332 million).

The leading investment group reached significant milestones in 2021, with its investment banking division successfully advising on several landmark offerings in the regional equity capital markets space.

The team successfully concluded the advisory on Fertiglobe’s $795-million IPO on the Abu Dhabi Exchange, marking one of the largest listings on the exchange and the first listing of a free zone company onshore in the UAE.

The division also served as joint book-runner and underwriter on Saudi-based ACWA Power’s $1.2-billion IPO on the Tadawul Exchange, marking EFG Hermes’ third IPO on the exchange in 2021.

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