Edita and Mezzan food floats set stock markets buzzing

By Eliot Beer

- Last updated on GMT

Edita and Mezzan food floats set stock markets buzzing

Related tags: Stock market

Food firms are set to be flavour of the month on regional stock exchanges, as Egypt’s Edita enjoys a bumper debut and Kuwait’s Mezzan Holding gets permission to list.

Edita, which listed on the Egyptian Stock Exchange last week, saw its initial public offering oversubscribed by 4.5 times. Once its shares started trading in Cairo on Thursday, they quickly jumped 13.5% to EGP 21.00, up from its offer price of EGP 18.50.

Market crazy for Edita

Trading in Edita’s stock was so strong, it pulled liquidity from the rest of the market, according to Reuters. The newly-listed company says it is targeting sales of US$328m for 2015. The company has shares listed on the Egyptian Stock Exchange, as well as global depositary receipts (GDRs) trading on the London Stock Exchange, with a market capitalisation of US$891 million.

Building Edita from a flicker of an idea into an Egyptian market leader with regional ambitions has been an incredible journey, and in many ways it has just begun. We are honoured to count today not just anchor investors such as Actis and Chipita, who have partially realized their investments with the start of trading today, but also hundreds of domestic and global shareholders who have confidence in our product, our market, our vision and, most importantly, in the team of 5,200 staff who have built a house of iconic Egyptian brands​,” said Hani Berzi, chairman and managing director of Edita.

Spyros Theodoropoulos, CEO at Chipita, and a member of Edita’s board, said: “As a leading producer of flour-based snacks and chocolate confectionaries in more than 35 countries, we are delighted to have been a co-founder and significant shareholder in Edita. We look forward to continued growth and innovation at Edita as it enhances its leading position in the growing EGP 15bn [US$1.97bn] per-year Egyptian snacks industry​.”

Mezzan’s green light

Kuwait’s Mezzan Holding applied for permission to float on the Kuwait Stock Exchange last year​, with plans to list 30% of the company. On Wednesday the Kuwait Capital Market Authority gave preliminary approval to Mezzan for its IPO.

In a statement announcing the approval Mezzan said it will now complete the regulatory procedures required to be listed. The aim of the listing was to transform Mezzan from a family-held institution to a publicly traded company with a wider shareholding base, according to the firm’s statement.

Last year Mezzan Holding saw sales of US$607m, and profit of US$53.6m, up 28% and 22% respectively over 2013. The firm distributes more than 25,000 separate products, with its major operations based around food and beverage production and distribution, including international brands such as General Mills and Arla Foods.

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