20 October 2003

Deal close on APC sale

An agreement is close for state-owned Jordan Investment Company (JIC)to sell 26 per cent of its stake in Arab Potash Company (APC)to Canada's Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (PCS). The deal is understood to be worth some $172 million. PCS was granted exclusive negotiating rights for the APC stake in July (MEED 18:7:03).

The sale forms part of Amman's privatisation programme, although JIC will retain a 26 per cent stake. HSBC acted as adviser on the sale. Arab Mining Companyowns 21 per cent of APC, while Iraqi, Kuwaiti and Libyan investors own the bulk of the remaining 27 per cent of the company.

APC was formed in 1956 and has a concession to exploit, manufacture and market potash from the Dead Sea for 100 years. The company is the sixth largest potash producer in the world, and manufactures table salt, bromine and its derivatives, magnesium oxide and potassium sulphate.

The divestment of the APC stake forms part of the government's wider privatisation programme, aimed at closing the budget deficit. A sale of 40 per cent of state-owned Jordan Phosphates Mines Company (MEED 15:2:02).

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