Trowers wins first Egyptian bank privatisation

Trowers & Hamlins has scooped a role on the first privatisation of an Egyptian state-owned bank.

Trowers advised Italian banking group Sanpaolo on the $1.6bn (£850m) acquisition of Bank of Alexandria, a retail and commercial bank. Baker & McKenzie‘s Cairo office, headed by corporate partner Taher Helmy, advised the Egyptian government.

The government is now expected to float its remaining 20 per cent stake in the bank, with Bakers expected to pick up that mandate.

Trowers Cairo-based partner Sara Hinton and solicitor Tim Armsby led the advice to Sanpaolo, along with local firm Nour Law Office.

Hinton said: “The government of Egypt has been talking about privatisation of the state-owned banks since the mid-1990s, but now it’s actually happened.

“The success of this privatisation has exceeded all expectations, but future privatisations of the remaining state-owned banks could be problematic.”

The country’s banking reforms call for a reduction in the country’s banks from 60 to 26.