Kellogg raises stakes in bidding war over Egypt's Bisco Misr
Kellogg Co raised its bid on Sunday for Egyptian cake and biscuit maker Bisco Misr, intensifying a bidding war with the UAE's Abraaj Investment Management that has pushed up the offer price by more than 12 percent.
The world's biggest breakfast cereal maker upped its bid to 82.2 Egyptian pounds ($11.50) per share on Sunday, trumping Abraaj's previous offer of 80.58 pounds ($11.27). Abraaj initially offered 73 pounds per share earlier this month, which Kellogg countered last week with 79 pounds.
The bidding war is part of a flurry of mergers and rights issues boosting activity on the Cairo bourse, an exchange which has struggled to revive investor confidence during the political and economic turmoil that followed popular uprisings in 2011.
Egypt's government this year launched a raft of long-delayed reforms aimed at luring back foreign investors and shoring up growth while cutting a ballooning deficit.
The competing bids from Kellogg and Abraaj are the latest sign foreign investors are returning to the market.
Food is seen as a fast-growing sector in the most populous Arab nation of 86 million people and Bisco Misr is a well-known brand with three baking facilities in Cairo and Alexandria.
Abraaj, which has about $7.5 billion of assets under management, typically invests in high-growth sectors in emerging markets.
While shareholders with 56 percent of Bisco Misr agreed to sell to Abraaj, Kellogg's bids have forced the private equity firm to return with higher offers.