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UniLever buyback fixed at Rs15,000

March 28, 2013

The Karachi Stock Exchange.—Reuters (File Photo)

KARACHI: The Karachi Stock Exchange has fixed the buyback price of shares held by the public in UniLever Pakistan at Rs15,000 per share.

Unilever Pakistan, the biggest fast moving consumer goods company on the stock exchange, had announced on Nov 27 last year that the UK parent intended to buy-back all shares in order to take its stake to 100 per cent.

UniLever is to seek (voluntary) de-listing from the stock exchanges. The company had put the offer price at Rs9,700 per share.

A notice released by the KSE on Wednesday stated that the Committee constituted by the board of directors of the KSE to consider the buy-back “had detailed discussions with the representatives of the sponsors.”

It stated: “After deliberating the relevant aspects under the relevant listing regulations (the committee) recommended to fix the minimum purchase price at Rs15,000 per share against the offer of the sponsors of Rs9,700 per share.”

The notice went on to say: “Under the Listing Regulation No.30-D (IV), the Sponsors of UniLever Pakistan Limited will be required to convey their acceptance/refusal to the purchase price approved by the exchange within seven days of the date of this notice”.

A very thinly traded share, UniLever Pakistan was listed at the stock exchanges in 1980. At the face value of Rs50, UniLever currently quoted at Rs11,100, is the most expensive stock on the country’s exchanges. With paid-up shares at 13.29m, Unilever Pakistan is valued at around Rs148bn, based on latest stock price.

The parent Unilever Overseas Holdings Limited is already in possession of 75.07pc of the total issued shares in Unilever Pakistan. If and when the buy-back deal goes through, the parent would mop up 3.31m shares held by the public (in case all shareholders exercise their option).

At the buy-back price anywhere between the sponsor’s offer and the minimum price fixed by the exchange, UniLever would have to pay a cool sum of somewhere between Rs32 billion and Rs47bn to the public. That would clearly mark UniLever Pakistan’s buy-back as the biggest share repurchase transaction in the corporate history of Pakistan.