KARACHI: The owner of Regent Plaza, a five-star hotel in the country’s financial hub, told investors on Monday a leading non-profit organisation operating in the healthcare segment has shown interest in acquiring the listed company.
Pakistan Hotels Developers Ltd (PHDL) said the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT) Trust wants to conduct due diligence — a comprehensive appraisal of assets and liabilities by a prospective buyer — of its property documents.
At the going market rate of Rs220.04 per share, a 100 per cent acquisition of the hotel business should be worth Rs3.96 billion.
A stock analyst told Dawn the apparent reason for the possible acquisition of the hotel by the SIUT Trust is its prime real estate with a built-up structure that can easily be converted into a hospital with only a few architectural tweaks.
Regent Plaza Hotel and Convention Centre is located on main Shahrah-e-Faisal on an area of 13,200 square yards. The total covered area of the multi-storey building is 47,034 square yards. Two other pieces of real estate owned by PHDL with a collective area of about 14 acres are located in Thatta.
The latest annual accounts show the company has valued its main real estate at Rs8.9bn. Its hotel building is valued at Rs939.2 million.
The hotel has 400 rooms with an occupancy rate of 20pc for 2021-22, the latest financial year for which data is available. The occupancy rate was 9pc in the preceding year because of Covid-19. In the first nine months of 2022-23, PHDL has posted a net profit of Rs45.5m, down 38.3pc from a year ago.
The share price of PHDL rose on Monday by 7.5pc, maximum increase allowed in a session.
In the days leading up to the expression of interest by the SIUT Trust, the share price of PHDL recorded “unusual movement”. The extraordinary rally prompted the regulatory affairs department of the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) to demand on Sept 20 an explanation from the company for the sudden increase in its share price.
PHDL responded to the PSX the next day that it was “not aware of any such matter or development that may have resulted in the increase in the market share price and volume”.The SIUT was founded by prominent surgeon Dr Syed Adibul Hasan Rizvi four decades ago as an eight-bed ward in the Burns Unit of Karachi’s Civil Hospital. After undergoing massive expansion over the years, it now operates as a charitable trust and provides medical facilities and financial assistance to over half a million patients every year through multiple hospitals.
Published in Dawn, September 26th, 2023