Methanex to sell 10% stake in Egypt methanol JV

Methanex has agreed to sell an approximately 10% equity share in Egyptian Methanex Methanol Company S.A.E. (EMethanex) to Arab Petroleum Investments Corp. (APICORP) for $110 million, the company confirmed on Wednesday. 

The transaction will increase APICORP's ownership in the joint venture to 17%. Methanex will remain the operator and majority shareholder of EMethanex with just over 50% ownership. The remaining 33% interest is held by several Egyptian government shareholders.

Subject to completion of certain conditions precedent, the companies expect the sale to be finalized by the end of 2013.

"This is a win-win arrangement," said John Floren, CEO of Methanex. "The transaction aligns with APICORP's investment strategy, and EMethanex will benefit from APICORP's growing support. We are looking forward to continuing to build our relationship with APICORP. In Egypt, we have built a world-class methanol facility, and we believe our Egyptian operations will continue to create value for shareholders today and well into the future."

APICORP, an inter-Arab development bank, raises capital through an array of strategic equity and debt investments with the objective of fostering the development of the Arab world's oil and gas industries.

APICORP is a strong supporter of Egypt and has been a shareholder of EMethanex since the project's inception. The company has steadily expanded the scope of its investments in the energy industry including midstream sectors such as methanol.

"We are pleased to be increasing our investment in EMethanex," said Ahmad Bin Hamad Al Nuaimi, APICORP's general manager and CEO. "This investment supports our strategy of deepening our support for midstream and downstream sectors in the Arab energy industry."

Methanex will remain the majority shareholder of EMethanex and there will be no governance changes or impact on its operations. EMethanex, which started commercial operations in 2011, will continue to be integrated into Methanex's organization.

The EMethanex plant is located in Damietta, Egypt, on the Mediterranean Sea and is among the most energy efficient methanol plants in the world. The plant, which can produce 1.3 million tpy of methanol, supplies both the local and global methanol markets and is integrated into Methanex's global methanol supply chain.

"This transaction is positive for both EMethanex and Egypt. It demonstrates the support of APICORP for EMethanex and its confidence in Egypt's future," said Kamilia Sofia, CEO of EMethanex.

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