A sale by RWE AG (RWE) of energy assets in Egypt is stalled as the country’s turbulent political transition deters potential buyers from bidding for the German utility’s offshore gas fields there, according to people familiar with the situation.
A deal to sell the Egyptian assets is unlikely to be reached this year after early bidders lost interest, the people said, asking not to be identified as the discussions are private. RWE is moving ahead with asset sales in Norway after appointing Deutsche Bank AG last year to weigh options for the future of Dea, its oil and gas exploration and production unit, they said. The Egyptian fields may be valued at as much as $3 billion, people with knowledge of the process said last year.
More than a year after the ouster of former president Hosni Mubarak, clashes between the military-appointed government and the legislature have shown Egypt remains unstable. This week, Egypt’s highest court issued twin rulings dissolving parliament and clearing the way for Ahmed Shafik, Mubarak’s last prime minister, to run for the presidency. The country still has no constitution in place, and economic growth is the lowest in decades, slowing to 0.4 percent in the final quarter of 2011, compared with 5.6 percent a year earlier, as instability deterred tourists and investors.