Crescent Star Foods set to become 1st food chain to get listed on stock exchange

Crescent Insurance and Picic Insurance merger is on verge of completion, which will pave way for Crescent Star Foods getting listed on PSX

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KARACHI: Crescent Star Foods (Pvt) Limited has slowly been plotting its move into the food sector and what was once a general insurance company based in Karachi, the company has big ambitions and now is gunning for an initial public offering (IPO).

In May, Crescent Star Insurance Limited (CSIL) announced that it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to acquire 100pc of the unlisted company Bil Foods Limited (BFL) which held franchise rights to Fat Burger in Pakistan.

CSFL also own franchise rights and operations of two brands, Bombay Chowpatty and Golden Chick with plans to launch over three dozen outlets of the latter in next five years. It also operates a local chain, ‘Café Tiramisu’.

Also, last week CSFL opened “Golden Bowl”, a ‘wok’ concept Pan-Asian restaurant. In an interview to Dawn, CSIL CEO & Managing Director, Naim Anwar revealed CSIL and Pakistan Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation (PICIC) Insurance Ltd merger was currently in progress.

PICIC Insurance which is listed on the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) had recently applied for ceasing of its insurance licence. Anwar said once the merger is successful, CSFL would get listed on the stock exchange and become the only food retail chain to do so in Pakistan.

CSIL is the parent company and Crescent Star Foods (Pvt) Limited, Crescent Star Technologies (Pvt) Limited and Crescent Star Luxury (Pvt) Limited are its subsidiaries.

The company isn’t only operating in insurance, food sector but has diversified its offerings in technology, steel, luxury and tracking sectors respectively.  Also, the company is into the retail market and offering cosmetic products under brand name ‘Define’, while Crescent Start Technologies is offering tracking services for vehicles and fleet management services.

Anwar shared the reason for moving into cosmetics and food was to target the retail market and these diversification efforts were targeted at maximizing returns on capital. He added despite the diversification and expansion, insurance would remain the lynchpin of the company’s policy with focus on underwriting policies in health, fire, livestock, engineering, motor etc.