Gulf Capital Invests in Carbon Holdings, Egypt’s Specialized Downstream Oil & Gas Holding Company, in a Bid to Increase Exposure to the Fast Growing Egyptian Economy
Investment supports Egyptian economic growth, exports and job creation
Gulf Capital, one of the largest and most active alternative investment firms in the Middle East, and Carbon Holdings, Egypt’s largest petrochemicals holding company, today signed a debt financing agreement to support three of the latter’s mega-industrial projects in Ain Al Sokhna on the Suez Canal in Egypt, in a bid to increase overall exposure to the fast growing Egyptian economy. The AED 92 million (US$25 million) convertible, five-year loan facility was extended by Gulf Capital’s credit fund, GC Credit Opportunities Fund I, to finance the development and expansion of three of Carbon Holdings’ petrochemical projects: Egypt Hydrocarbon Corporation, Oriental Petrochemicals Corporation and Tahrir Petrochemicals Corporation.
Dr Karim El Solh, Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi-based Gulf Capital said: “We are excited about the growth prospects in Egypt and are keen to increase our investments there. The message from Egypt at the recent three-day Sharm El Sheikh Investment Conference which we attended in March was clear and promising: Egypt is committed to embarking on an ambitious growth plan and to attracting and supporting foreign investments in the country. We are particularly thrilled to be working with Carbon Holdings which is a key force in the modern industrial development of Egypt and whose projects are expected to increase the country’s overall exports significantly, create approximately 70,000 direct and indirect jobs and boost industrial growth and trade flows. Carbon Holdings is set to transform the Egyptian petrochemical industry and we are pleased to be working with its visionary management team to realise this ambitious goal. Egypt today represents one of the most attractive investment destinations in the Middle East and Gulf Capital is eager to increase its direct investments in the country.”
The funding from Gulf Capital will be used by Carbon Holdings to finance project development and operations at the Egypt Hydrocarbon Corporation, a US$ 550 million Mining Grade Ammonium Nitrate (“MGAN”) plant, Oriental Petrochemicals Corporation, a polypropylene (“PP”) production plant, and Tahrir Petrochemicals Corporation, a US$7.4 billion greenfield naphtha cracker, olefins production complex with associated derivative units.
Basil El-Baz, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Carbon Holdings, said: “We are fortunate to be partnering with Gulf Capital which shares our views and vision for Egypt’s future and which is prepared to back its commitment with significant local investments. It is heavy industry that underpins any economy and our government understands that and supports the industrialization of Egypt in an unparalleled way. Our financial partners have realized this and have become even more confident in the future of the Egyptian economy. We believe that the industrial sector in Egypt presents tremendous growth opportunities. We may even be witnessing the beginning of a proper industrial revolution, driven by major investments in basic product manufacturing that will cascade into locally produced finished goods which will be sold locally to a massive domestic consumer market or exported internationally. We look forward to embarking with Gulf Capital on this exciting growth journey together.”
This confidence in the Egyptian economy was reflected in investment deals worth more than US$138 billion signed on the first two days of the Sharm El Sheikh Conference in addition to financial pledges by Gulf, Egyptian and international businessmen for new investments in the country, and a multi-billion dollar government support package announced by the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and the World Bank. The Egyptian government expects the economic growth to more than double from 2.1 percent last year to over 4 percent in 2015.
Walid Cherif, Managing Director and Head of Gulf Credit Partners, the credit and mezzanine division of Gulf Capital which manages the Gulf Credit Opportunities Fund I, said: “This deal with Carbon Holdings confirms that deep and talented management teams, well-structured projects and strong industry dynamics attract significant investor interest. The Carbon Holdings team has demonstrated deep expertise in executing industrial projects in complex macroeconomic and geopolitical environments. We are exceptionally delighted with the exposure that Carbon Holdings gives us to the wider petrochemicals industry and excited to be partnering with a world-class team. We believe that the company is on track to become one of the leading petrochemicals players globally. The financing provided by Gulf Capital allows Carbon Holdings to continue developing its projects and to create value for its shareholders without the need to seek new external equity financing.”