The Sovereign Fund of Egypt (SFE) is expanding to franchisers as potential buyers of 80-90% of military-owned Wataniya Petroleum, CEO Ayman Soliman told Reuters.

The SFE is helping in selling the military’s National Service Projects Organisation’s (NSPO) Wataniya and retaining a 10%-20% stake for itself. The buyer will probably hold the fueling stations on a long-term leasehold basis. Soliman stated he hopes to complete the sale by the end of June. 

There have been a few candidates up for the buy including Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and possibly Taqa Arabia, however, the latter was not confirmed. Additionally, the fund has earmarked three other NSPO candidates for sale but has yet to disclose their names. The three are in the food and non-food consumer goods and in petrochemicals.

Soliman stated that “As we went through the process, we discovered that there are other different models, such as in Europe, from what we understand, petrol stations are no longer owned by the companies themselves or the distribution companies themselves … They just franchise out the brand. There are now specialized operators that deploy their own balance sheet towards acquiring the station, which widens the scope of potential investors,” adding that whatever brand comes in could franchise it under a contractual agreement.