Egyptian ‘Goldfinger’ targets African expansion – by Richard Wachman (Arab News – October 7, 2018)

LONDON: La Mancha Holding, the mining investment vehicle headed by Naguib Sawiris, is looking at more gold acquisitions in Africa, Arab News can reveal.

In June, the private, Luxembourg-headquartered company headed by the billionaire Egyptian businessman shelled out $126 million for a 30 percent stake in Toronto-listed Golden Star, owner of two gold mines in Ghana. La Mancha already owns 30 percent of another gold company, Endeavour Mining with gold assets in West Africa. It also has significant stake in Australian gold miner Evolution.

But Africa appears to be the main target, for now. La Mancha’s new chief financial officer, Beirut-born Karim-Michel Nasr said: “We are interested in M&A, although we are not empire builders — our aim is to build shareholder value, any acquisition has to be value accretive.”

The company would look at potential mining targets in west and central Africa but “not southern Africa,” said Nasr. Andrew Breichmanas, mining analyst at BMO Capital Markets, said that, given Sawiris’ track record in bolstering the value of Endeavour and Evolution, “there is every reason to be bullish about [his] strategy going forward. Sawiris is viewed as a successful operator,” he said.

The market worth of Endeavour and Evolution since he bought into them in 2015 had rocketed by 290 percent and 267 percent respectively, according to a La Mancha presentation on its website.

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