EFG Hermes, a leading investment bank franchise in Frontier Emerging Markets (FEM), said it had acted as the sole financial advisor, lead manager and sole bookrunner for Orascom for Real Estate (ORE) to secure key funding for its flagship project 'O West' in Cairo.

A major subsidiary of top integrated towns developer Orascom Development Egypt, ORE signed the E£1.5 billion ($79 million) facility agreement with Commercial International Bank (CIB) to partially finance the development and help accelerate the construction of the launched phases at its flagship development O West - namely Whyte, Tulwa, Club Residences, Hillside and the O-Business District, said the statement from EFG Hermes.

While EFG Hermes successfully completed advisory on the key finance deal, MHR & Partners in association with White & Case were the legal counsel for ORE.

The success of this facility agreement marks an important milestone in the development cycle of the project and stands testament to the credibility and the strong financial profile of O West as well as a reflection of the confidence in ORE’s ability to deliver on its financial commitments, it stated.

Ashraf Nessim, Orascom Development’s Group CFO said: "We are extremely pleased about the successful financing of our subsidiary ORE’s flagship O West project. The financing was executed independently from ODE and will give O West an independent capital structure and allow it to accelerate the commencement of unit deliveries in Q1 2023, ahead of our promise to our customers."

This financing is testament to the confidence banking institutions have towards the strong sales and financial performance of the project since launch to date, he noted.

"On this front, O West has successfully managed to establish itself as a unique and popular destination in the West Cairo area, generating one of the highest sales performances over the last three years when compared to other similar projects," he added.

CEO of O West Tarek Kamel said: "It gives us great pleasure to have raised this financing, as it reflects our commitment to our customers in delivering our units according to the set schedules and even ahead of promised delivery dates. This agreement contributes to accelerating the pace of construction and achieving more customer satisfaction, which is one of our main objectives at O West."

Kamel said O West had achieved unprecedented sales during the first half amounting to E£2.4 billion, up 73.6% over last year's E£1.4 billion.

On the transaction, Maged El Ayouti, Managing Director and Deputy Head of Investment Banking at EFG Hermes, said: "We are honored to be the financial advisor of choice on O West’s debut independent capital raising transaction, ORE’s primary homes flagship project. O West has already generated substantial interest and this successful facility agreement will help accelerate the delivery of initial phases ahead of schedule."

Soha Abou Zikry, Head of Global Customer Relations of CIB Egypt, said: "Our team is proud to further strengthen its longstanding relationship with the Orascom Development Egypt by supporting them in expanding their first flagship project in West Cairo and are confident that they will witness another chapter of success."

Mohamed El Barouny, Head of the Corporate Banking Group at CIB, said: "Over the years, CIB has built a solid and mutually rewarding relationship with the ODE. We are and will always be very bullish to pursue any opportunity arising with this competent and prestigious group."

"Today we add to our portfolio Orascom for Real Estate S.A.E. through financing its elite project “O West” in a transaction totaling E£1.5 billion, after being their Escrow Account bank of choice," he added.

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