Share |

Family business roundup: Sawiris and White families sell company stakes

Naguib Sawiris, who is the former chairman of Egyptian family business Orascom Telecom Holding, has sold most of his stake in the group’s mobile operations to its French partner.
Naguib Sawiris has sold most of his stake in part of the family business

Naguib Sawiris, who is the former chairman of Egyptian family business Orascom Telecom Holding, has sold most of his stake in the group’s mobile operations to its French partner.

Following the completion of the sale, France Telecom will own 95% of Mobinil while the Sawiris family will retain a 5% “economic interest”, according to a statement.

The move follows a shareholders’ agreement signed in April 2010, which gave Sawiris, one of CampdenFB’s top family business leaders last year, a put option to sell his stake at a pre-determined price.

He sold his 20% stake in Mobinil for 202.5 Egyptian pounds (€25.31) per share – a 61% premium on its closing price before the sale was announced. The whole deal was valued at around €1.5 billion.

Sawiris, one of the Middle East’s best-known businessmen, is credited with overseeing the launch of Mobinil in 1998 – it was Egypt’s first mobile operator and is the country’s largest phone company in terms of revenues.

The business was so far jointly owned by holding company Orascom Telecom, controlled by the Sawiris family, and France Telecom, with the latter holding about 71% of the group.

Sawiris, 57, sold most of his other telecom assets last year to a Russian company in a deal worth around $6 billion (€4.5 billion). His two brothers also work in the family business – Nassef is chief executive of Orascom Construction Industries while Samih is chairman of Orascom Development.

While the Egyptian family sells its stake, another family business, this time in the US, has also given up control of its company. GasAmerica Services, owned by the fourth generation of the founding White family, has sold its convenience store chain operations to Speedway.

According to a statement, Speedway will acquire all 88 stores run by the Whites in Indiana and Ohio. “It is a testament to the entire team and the quality of our operation that Speedway was interested in acquiring our chain,” said Stephanie White, president and chief executive of GasAmerica.

Founded in 1916 by Herbert White as White Petroleum, the family-run group was renamed GasAmerica in 1983.

Fourth-gen Stephanie works alongside her brother Keith. The sale is to be completed by May, said the statement, but no financial terms were disclosed. The group had estimated revenues of more than $500 million in 2010.

Click here >>
Close