Qalaa Holdings Inks Agreement for Exit of Pharos Holding, Facilitates Management Buyout

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Qalaa exits its full 80% stake in leading national investment bank in sale to group of investors led by Pharos’ chairman and founder; Pharos grew to top-five broker and a leading advisory, asset management, research, private equity and bookkeeping firm during the period of Qalaa’s investment

Qalaa Holdings (CCAP.CA on the Egyptian Exchange, formerly Citadel Capital), an African leader in infrastructure and industry, signed today a sale and purchase agreement to divest its full 80% shareholding in Pharos Holding in a deal valuing 100% of Pharos Holding at c. EGP 40 million(approx. $5.2million).

Pharos is a leading full-service investment bank based in Cairo with thriving investment banking, private equity, asset management, securities brokerage and bookkeeping operations backed by a global-quality research arm.

The acquiring parties are a group of investors led by Pharos Holding Chairman and Founder Dr. Mohamed Taymour. The Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA), which was executed through Qalaa Holdings subsidiary Finance Unlimited, covers the sale of 100% of shares owned directly and indirectly by Qalaa Holdings in the share capital of Pharos (representing 80% of Pharos’ issued capital).

“The exit of Pharos is part of executing our strategy to divest non-core businesses in a timely manner at the right valuations as we narrow our focus on core subsidiaries in sectors including energy, cement, agifoods, transportation & logistics and mining,” said Qalaa Holdings Co-Founder and Managing Director Hisham El-Khazindar.

“Management buyouts are entirely too rare in Egypt. It is a fantastic feeling for all of us at Qalaa — where we pride ourselves on our entrepreneurial spirit — to return full ownership of Pharos to a group led by the visionary entrepreneur who founded it,” said Ghada Hammouda Qalaa Holdings’ Chief Marketing Officer.

Taymour on his part added: “We’re delighted to have concluded this transaction with Qalaa, which has been a trusted partner since our founding. We are looking forward to serving Qalaa as a client as we continue to build on an outstanding track record and capture the upside presented by the ongoing economic recovery in Egypt.”

Pharos’ professional practices include one of Egypt’s five-largest securities brokers and a highly sought-after advisory practice with particular expertise in M&A, equity and debt transactions. The investment banking advisory division has closed landmark transactions across sectors ranging from chemicals and fertilizers to consumer finance, education and telecommunications. Transactions closed in 2014 include service as independent financial advisor to Orascom Telecom, Abu Soma Development Company and Global Telecom Holding as well as to Arabian Cement Company on its 18.5x oversubscribed IPO, the first such equity offering in Egypt since 2011.

Pharos’ asset management practice controlled AUM in excess of nearly EGP 900 million at year-end 2014, comprehensively covering equity, balanced, Shariah-compliant, fixed-income and capital-guaranteed portfolios. Management expects the transaction to close during February 2015. 

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