Mentioned last November in our columns, the financial difficulties of the agri-food company NCA Rouiba did not leave the Castel group indifferent. Slim Othmani, the chairman of the board of directors of the Algerian fruit juice producer, confirmed that his company will soon come under the umbrella of Brasseries Internationales Holding (BIH), a subsidiary of the French beer and wine giant.
This announcement, dated 16 January, is however only the finalisation of a merger which has taken place in several stages over the last few weeks. Following revelations about NCA Rouiba’s precarious financial situation, an initial agreement was validated on 30 December to release emergency financing of 945 million dinars (7.9 million dollars) to the Algerian company. At the time, it was indicated that « this financing would quickly be accompanied by a change in the governance of NCA Rouiba to ensure it has the necessary managerial and operational support ». In fact, Slim Othmani’s press release specifies that the general management will fall to Lotfi Kadaoui, until then responsible for the operations of the Castel group in Algeria. The historical leader of the company will however retain the presidency of the board of directors.
This first « emergency » financial contribution having been made, the announcement of 16 January then acknowledged the forthcoming takeover of NCA Rouiba by BIH, an investment protocol having been signed with the latter so that it becomes « the new long-term majority shareholder of NCA Rouiba » via a capital increase.
An operation that will de facto have consequences on the other shareholders of the Algerian company, listed on the Algiers stock exchange since 2013. Slim Othmani has indicated that he will file « before the capital increase » of NCA Rouiba a project of public offer of withdrawal on all the shares. A decision still subject to the approval of the Commission for the Organization and Supervision of Stock Exchange Operations (Cosob) and the Management Company of the Algiers Stock Exchange (SGBV).