PRL, Air Link Join Hands, Offer To Purchase Shell Pakistan

PRL, Air Link Join Hands, Offer To Purchase Shell Pakistan
Two local companies have stepped forward to express interest in purchasing a controlling stake in petroleum giant Shell Pakistan.

According to a filing submitted to the Pakistan Stock Exchange on Monday, Next Capital Limited -- the manager of the offer -- disclosed that their clients, two publicly listed companies, Pakistan Refinery Limited (PRL) and Air Link Communications (Air Link) are interested in procuring a stake in Shell Pakistan.

Shell Petroleum recently announced that it will sell shareholding in the Pakistan unit.

READ MORE: Shell Pakistan To Sell Pakistan Unit Shareholding

Analysts believed that Shell had put up a controlling stake for sale in the Pakistan unit, over 77%, as it sought to streamline and consolidate its global operations and profitability.

Effectively, the decision signalled the end of a 76-year association between Shell and the Pakistani region.

Analysts believed that any potential buyer could take advantage of Shell's poor performance in the stock market and complete a transaction at a significant discount.

READ MORE: Shell Pakistan: Decoding The Exit Transaction

But what was not expected was for a buyer to turn up as quickly as it did.

While there are still some steps that have yet to be taken to complete any sale, it should be clear that the company bows out at a low rather than a high.

On Monday, Shell Pakistan's share price reacted positively as news of the bid was announced. Shell ended the trading day at Rs4.55 (4.12%) up as it closed at Rs115.05 a share. The company traded some 1.47 million shares on the day. However, it was down from its opening level of Rs118.79.

Shell, PSX, share prices

But a five-year trend graph tells the story of the company that was soaring at Rs320.83 a share in the immediate aftermath of elections and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) coming to power - riding on the back of a wave in the stock market - to plummeting to lows of Rs67.41 a share earlier this year at the height of the liquidity crunch and import bans.

Meanwhile, PRL saw modest gains in the stock exchange following the news of the bid, with some 8.9 million shares traded and its share price receiving a minor boost of Rs0.11 (0.65%). Its shares opened at Rs17.12 and closed at Rs17.03. But this was not before hitting a day-high peak of Rs17.45 per share.

PRL, PSX, share prices

Air Link, however, saw its share prices dip by Rs0.17 (-0.61%) over the previous day. Its shares opened at Rs29.47 and rose to a high of Rs29.99 but then proceeded to slow to Rs27.73 by the ended of the day with some 6.59 million shares traded.

Air Link, PSX, share prices

Five-year stock data of all three companies show that they are not today at the same level they were all those years ago.

They will be hoping that the new acquisition can galvanize their fortunes on the stock exchange floor.