Carbon Holdings has reportedly tapped a top investment banking house to serve as advisor and global coordinator for an IPO that would value the company north of USD 1 billion, we’re told by sources with knowledge of the preparations. The stake sale is likely to be the largest IPO in Egypt since 2011; the structure of the transaction and the secondary exchanges that will ultimately be selected are still up for grabs, we’re told. Preparations for the IPO come as the Carbon, an integrated petrochemicals producer founded by the industrialist Basil El-Baz, has reportedly received sign off on financing commitments worth more than USD 2 bn for its USD 10.8 bn Tahrir Petrochemicals Corporation (TPC). Carbon is believed to be targeting a 2H2018 financial close for TPC. Senior Carbon officials declined to comment when reached yesterday.
What’s TPC? The USD 10.8 bn Ain Sokhna-based TPC is a fully integrated petrochemical complex designed to serve industrial demand in Egypt and abroad for raw materials used in the automotive, building and packaging industries, among others. TPC could create as many as 35k direct and indirect jobs during its four-plus year construction phase and another 3k skilled jobs when it’s fully up and running, according to a presentation seen by Enterprise.
Background: Carbon already runs operating companies including the Oriental Petrochemicals Corporation (OPC, a producer of polypropylene) and Egypt Hydrocarbon Corporation (EHC, the only exporting producer of low-grade ammonium nitrate in the Middle East and Africa). EHC has concluded trials and testing and is expected to enter into commercial service shortly. Other than El-Baz, whose public profile rose after a 2013 Euromoney speech in Cairo, Carbon shareholders include UAE-based Al Nowais Investments and Mazrui Holdings as well as Blustone Management, among others.