Egyptian financier wins race to buy Arab Dairy

Egyptian financial services firm Pioneers Holding has won the race to buy Egypt’s Arab Dairy for €30m, beating a rival offer from Al Nour, the market regulator said.

The battle for control of the Egyptian cheese maker is part of a flurry of activity on the Cairo bourse, which has struggled to revive investor confidence in the turmoil after the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings.

Pioneers’ bid of €8.35 per share came in above the €8.32 per share offered by Al-Nour for Dairy Industries. Al-Nour is a subsidiary of Europe’s biggest dairy group, Lactalis. Pioneers CEO Walid Zaky said that the acquisition was part of his company’s efforts to expand in the food sector, a fast-growing industry in the most populous Arab nation of 87m people. Pioneers, which already owns 25% of Arab Dairy, is set to start buying up the shares it does not own later this week.

It first announced its intention to bid for the company in August at €6.59 per share, but that price was pushed up by competing bids from the Lactalis subsidiary.

Saudi Arabia’s Arrow Food Distribution and Denmark’s Arla Foods Amba also tabled bids for Arab Dairy last year.


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