Citadel secures loan for transport company

The capital will help Egypt’s National River Transport Company finance a fleet of river transport barges.

Citadel Capital has secured an EGP325 million ($58.2 million) syndicated loan to fund the growth plans of its portfolio company National River Transportation Company (NRTC).

Banque Misr, Arab African International Bank and Bank of Alexandria were lead arrangers on the seven-year loan, and provided EGP122 million, EGP108 million, and EGP95 million respectively.

Citadel Capital first invested in NRTC in September 2006 and currently has EGP174.4 million at risk in the company.

NRTC is developing Egypt’s “first end-to-end transportation and logistics network centred around the river Nile”, according to a statement from Citadel. The loan will be used to finance the purchase of 24 of a planned fleet of over 90 river transport barges.

“Egypt is heavily dependent on road transport, with more than 95 percent of all goods in the country being transported by truck, which places a heavy burden on the infrastructure of roads and highways. Comparatively, the volume of river transport currently accounts for less than 1 percent of total goods transported, despite it being more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly,” said Hisham El-Khazindar, managing director and co-founder of Citadel Capital, in a statement.

NRTC is currently building ports in Cairo South, Cairo North and Alexandria. It aims to be able to transport up to 10 million tonnes of goods along the Nile annually by 2013.
With $4.1 billion of capital raised over the past five year, Citadel Capital recently ranked fourth in the PEI Asia 30, PEI Asia’s inaugural ranking of the region’s largest private equity firms.