Egypt is looking for buyers for a chain of military-owned gas stations

The Defense Ministry has chosen the sovereign fund to sell part of its corporate portfolio in what will be the first such offering in the country to companies owned by the military.

Wataniya, which controls about 200 petrol stations, and the Safi Mineral Water Bottling Company, will be the first company owned by the army’s National Service Projects Organization to be put up for sale.

Soliman said that Egypt’s sovereign fund helps sell between 80 percent and 90 percent of the National Petroleum Company of the National Service Projects Authority, while it keeps a stake between 10 percent and 20 percent for itself. It is possible that the buyer will maintain the filling stations on a long-term lease basis.

“While we were doing the process, we discovered that there are different models, as in Europe, from what we understand. The gas stations are no longer owned by the same companies or the distribution companies themselves,” he added.

“They only give the agency right to the trademark. There are now specialized operators publishing their balance sheet in order to acquire the terminal, which broadens the range of potential investors,” he said, adding that any brand could be granted an agency right under a contractual agreement.

Suleiman hopes to complete the sale by the end of June.

The NSPO has authorized the sovereign fund to invest in a number of companies and assets and bring in other partners.

“They offered a number of assets,” Suleiman said. “Therefore, we chose companies that we think can be marketed and companies in attractive sectors.”

“Our mandate is to act as a catalyst for foreign direct investment for private sector participation,” he told Reuters.

The fund has identified three other companies owned by the National Service Projects Authority that are expected to be sold, but has not yet disclosed their names. The three companies operate in the food, non-food FMCG and petrochemical sectors.

Suleiman said that a national company is one of two chains of fuel stations owned by the National Service Projects Authority. The other company is Chillout, which is separately owned by the device through its branch, the National Company for Road Construction and Development.

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