Naguib Sawiris is a well-known businessman with a fortune estimated at about 2.9 billion USD. Sawiris invested in telecommunications, most notably Mobinil, which he founded 17 years ago and sold it to Orange France in 2015. Sawiris is the current Chairman of Orascom Investment Holding, a company with extensive investments in Egypt, the Middle East and North Korea.
Sawiris participated in the funding of Al Masry Al Youm and stated he was ready to sell his shares in 2018. Local media reported that he sold his shares to businessman Salah Diab however, there is no statement from the newspaper to confirm it.
The founder of ON TV Channel, Sawiris soon used this TV to strengthen his political image. After president Hosni Mubarak stepped down and during the first 18 days of the revolution, ONTV aired the TV show “Akher Kalam” (The last words) hosted by Yousri Fouda and Reem Maged. Panelists included Naguib Sawiris, Ahmed Shafiq, the prime minister at the time, novelist Alaa Al-Aswany and renowned journalist Hamdy Qandil. The show challenged the Egyptian cultural norms as Al-Aswany openly challenged General Shafiq’s position as part of the old regime, demanding accountability, openly contradicting Egyptian cultural norms that dictate the necessity to respect and obey one's elders, regardless of their virtuosity. Three hours after the interview, Shafiq resigned as PM in response to what he deemed as his public humiliation.
Sawiris once was part of the "Committee of the Wise Men”, a political group that was formed during the January 25 protests to negotiate with the Mubarak regime to stop the unrest. This group was in contact with Omar Suleiman, the head of the General Intelligence, who was appointed by Hosni Mubarak as Vice-President in the dying days of his regime. Sawiris worked in the "Committee of the Wise Men” with figures such as Amr Moussa, former secretary-general of the Arab League and scientist and Nobel Laureate Ahmed Zewail. In April 2011, Naguib Sawiris founded the Free Egyptians Party, a liberal party, aimed at serving as opposition party. In 2015, it became the party with the largest representation in the parliament with 10.9% of the seats. But in 2017, Sawiris was expelled from the party following months of internal dispute. The party is now managed by a wing closer to Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
In 2016, Sawiris sold his ON TV shares to Ahmed Abu Hashima from the Egyptian Media Group. The name of the channel was changed to ON E. Reports stated that Sawiris sold ON TV due to political pressures to do so. He said however that he sold it because of criticism directed to the channel from supporters of the former regime, the revolutionaries and the government. After the failure of his political experience and losing his network of channels, Sawiris started supporting arts and culture by sponsoring El Gouna Film Festival. Meanwhile, Sawiris still owns several news websites, and specialized websites.Sawiris' investments cannot be accurately assessed, as he contributes to a variety of companies in Egypt and abroad, and he constantly conducts deals.
Orascom Investment Holding
Al Masry Establishment for Press, Printing and Publishing
Sawiris fortune was estimated by Forbes as of 15 January 2019.
Orascom Investment Holding was previously named Orascom Telecom, Media and Technology Holding.