(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Setting in motion a divestment plan aimed at mobilising funds for a new phase of investments, the Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (Apicorp), the multilateral development bank of the Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (Oapec), yesterday announced that it has signed an agreement to sell its 12 percent stake in the Egypt-based Alexandria Carbon Black Company (ACBC) to the Aditya Birla Group, the majority shareholder of the company.
The divestment, Apicorp's first ever, was approved by Apicorp's Board of Directors at its fourth and final Board of Directors meeting for 2010 held in Cairo on December 26. The Government of Qatar owns a 10 percent stake in Apicorp.
Ahmad bin Hamad Al Nuaimi, (pictured) Chief Executive and General Manager of Apicorp said: "This sale is part of an investment strategy to redeploy funds for diversification into new midstream sectors, particularly oil refining, storage, transport and shipping."
He added that the goal of each of Apicorp's investments is to support its investor company in reaching a level of business stability and operational maturity from which it can sustainably accelerate its development. "Since we invested in ACBC 17 years ago, we have seen the company evolve into the world's largest production line in the carbon black industry and we now feel it is the right time to monetize the investment. We wish ACBC every success in continuing its exceptional growth story," said Al Nuaimi.
Alexandria Carbon Black Company (ACBC) was established in January 1993 in Egypt with a paid-up capital of LE 99.5 million. Apicorp has been a 12% equity stakeholder with a Board representation in ACBC since its establishment. The company produces various grades of Carbon Black (CB); the basic material used in the manufacture of tires and other rubber-based products like hoses and inks. Since commissioning its first CB production line in late 1994 with a production capacity of 20,000 tons per year, the Company sought to maximize its exports, and has reached a production capacity of 285,000 tons per year.
As part of its 2010 - 2014 five-year plan objective, Apicorp is seeking to broaden its investments across the MENA oil and gas industry spectrum, especially in midstream projects. According to recent Apicorp research, the region's oil and gas industry offers an investment potential of around $615bn and many attractive opportunities that match Apicorp's strategic priorities.