KARACHI/LAHORE: Maple Leaf Capital Limited, in a notification issued to the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Thursday, reported that the company has acquired 10.9 per cent of the share capital in Pioneer Cement Limited (PIOC).
Maple Leaf Capital, an unlisted public company, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Kohinoor Maple Leaf Group (KMLG), along with publicly listed companies Kohinoor Textile Mills Limited (KTML) and Maple Leaf Cement Factory Limited (MLCFL).
The company informed the PSX that it has effectively acquired 24,761,001 shares of PIOC after buying 2,089,000 shares on September 1, 2020 at an average price of Rs94.41 per share, taking its aggregate shareholding in POIC to 10.9 per cent.
Maple Leaf Capital was incorporated on April 25, 2014 and its issued shared capital stands at Rs3.015 billion currently. Waleed Tariq Saigol, a member of Maple Leaf Capital’s board of directors and the person acting in concert, owns 152,000 shares in POIC himself.
According to the notification, the information was disclosed under Section 4(2) of Listed Companies (substantial acquisition of voting shares takeovers) Regulations which says that “an acquirer who acquires voting shares beyond the thresholds prescribed under subsection (1) of section 110 the Act, shall within two working days of the acquisition of shares make a disclosure of the acquisition to the target company, the securities exchange and the commission containing the information prescribed in Schedule III.”
POIC Senior Officer Amjad Mughal while talking to Profit said that the transaction was channelled through the open market, and stressed that the notification had no impact on the management control of POIC.
He further said that the notification was issued due to the regulatory requirements that necessitate the disclosure of any transaction that results in any entity holding above 10 per cent of the share capital of another company.
The motives of the acquisition of POIC’s shares by Maple Leaf Capital currently remain unclear. However, in the past, the cement industry has been marred by cartelisation and critics of the acquisition of POIC’s shares by Maple Leaf Capital believe that this move might further discourage competition within the industry.
Profit tried to contact KMLG’s head office in Lahore, MLCFL Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sayeed Saigol and POIC Chairman Aly Khan but received no response until the filing of this report.
Currently, more than 47 per cent of POIC’s shares are held by a British Virgin Islands based company, Vision Holding Middle East Limited which is owned by billionaire Habibullah Khan of Mega Conglomerate.