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KARACHI: Shanghai Electric Power Co. Ltd is reported to be in discussion for buying a stake in K-Electric Ltd (KE) and has hired agencies to do due diligence on the proposed acquisition, an agency report from Hong Kong said on Thursday.

Though there was no concurrent ‘material information’ announcement from the K-Electric on the Pakistan Stock Exchange on Thursday regarding the due diligence, the interest of China’s state-backed Shanghai Electric Power in acquiring a stake in KE is well known.

The Chinese company announced its intention to bid for the stake after the KE confirmed that Dubai-based private equity firm Abraaj Group was evaluating the possibility of divesting (directly or indirectly) its stake in the power utility. The KE has a total market value of $2.3 billion.

Shanghai Electric had affirmed in a statement on the Shanghai Stock Exchange on Aug 22: “Our company has embarked on preliminary work on the acquisition of a stake in K-Electric.”

Published in Dawn, September 30th, 2016