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GFH Financial sells 10 per cent of Bahrain’s Falcon Cement

Abu Dhabi Financial Group subsidiary may underwrite cement producer’s proposed IPO

Islamic investment bank GFH Financial Group on Tuesday (March 22) announced that it agreed to sell a 10 per cent stake in Bahrain-based Falcon Cement Co to Integrated Capital, the capital markets arm of Abu Dhabi Financial Group.

Established in 2008, Falcon has an annual production capacity of 350,000 tonnes of cement, which is expected to rise to 850,000 tonnes with the launch of a second production line by the end of 2016.

The company that manufactures ordinary portland cement (OPC) and sulfate resistant cement (SRC) is valued at $120 million, GFH said in a statement sent out to media.

Underwriting IPO

GFH said Integrated Capital also expressed interest in underwriting a proposed initial public offer of shares by Falcon on the Bahrain stock exchange later this year.

Falcon, valued at $120 million, has an annual production capacity of 350,000 tonnes of cement, which is expected to rise to 850,000 tonnes with the launch of a second production line by the end of 2016, according to GFH’s statement.

Hisham Alrayes, CEO of GFH, said the move was part of the bank’s strategy to bring in new shareholders to take Falcon to the next phase of growth.

“Going forward, GFH and its subsidiaries will look to build on this strategic partnership with ADFG, as both groups stand to benefit from each other’s expertise and strength.”

For ADFG, its CEO Jassim Alseddiqi says, Falcon represents an attractive investment opportunity as it heads for further growth following the completion of the second production line this year.

In February, the Abu Dhabi-based investment management and financial services group raised its stake in GFH to 10 per cent from 7.4 per cent.

GFH’s shares on Dubai bourse rose 2.3 per cent in the early trade.