Pakistan Aluminium Beverage Cans (PABC) raised Rs4.6 billion by selling one-fourth of the stake in the company to institutional, individual and retail investors at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Wednesday.

The company secured the maximum allowed price of Rs49 per share, which it determined by holding the Dutch auction (book building process) on Tuesday and Wednesday. It kick-started the auction at the minimum (floor) price of Rs35 per share.

Rules in place allowed the company to sell shares at 40% higher price against its floor price of Rs35 per share. The company sold a total of 93.88 million (26%) shares in the auction at the PSX.

The IPO was oversubscribed by 2.5 times at 233.23 million shares against the offer to sell 93.88 million shares.

It was the second largest initial public offering (IPO) in the private sector in terms of size of raised funds at Rs4.6 billion.

Funds gathered through the listing would go to UK-based asset management firm Ashmore that plans to break away from the company. It held a total of 51% stake in the company, out of which it sold almost half (26%) through the auction at the PSX.

Ashmore has also entered into agreements to sell rest of its holding in the company at a price of Rs30.80-31.85 to two major investors including Hamida Salim Mukaty (part of Liberty Group) and Soorty Enterprises (Private) Limited in private deals. PABC has shared plans to enhance its annual capacity from 700 million cans to 950 million cans. It aims to complete the expansion by July 2022.

The expansion is being financed through the State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) Long Term Financing Facility (LTFF) at an attractive rate of 3% (inclusive of bank margin of 1%). The company has established relationship with key beverage bottlers in Pakistan and Afghanistan such as PepsiCo, Coca Cola, Mehran Bottlers (Pakola) and Zalal Mowafaq, Afghanistan.

In addition to this, the company also supplies aluminium beverage cans to Nestle Pakistan, Murree Brewery, King Beverages, Super Cola Beverages, Sufi Group of Companies, Six B, Daani International, Master Beverages and Foods and Afghan Red Pomegranate.

As per company estimates, the can penetration in the beverage packaging market is roughly 3-4%.

The off-trade consumption in soft drinks market of Pakistan stood at 3.13 billion litres in 2020 and it is expected to hit 4.34 billion litres by 2025, registering a five-year CAGR of 6.7% on volume basis, as per Euromonitor International.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 24th, 2021.

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