PC board approves lease terms for Roosevelt Hotel

Defers decision on hiring financial advisers for Pakistan Steel Mills


Shahbaz Rana December 28, 2019
The govt wants to privatise PSM by the fourth quarter of current fiscal year but the shortlisted financial adviser is seeking undue benefits. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: The Privatisation Commission (PC) board on Friday approved terms of leasing Roosevelt Hotel, New York, but did not make a decision on appointing financial advisers for the privatisation of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM).

The board took numerous decisions for appointing financial advisers or starting the process of hiring these consultants aimed at taking forward the privatisation programme of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government.

The board approved the hiring of financial advisers for the privatisation of 525-megawatt Nandipur power plant, House Building Finance Company (HBFC), divestment of 20% shares in Pakistan Reinsurance Corporation Limited and sale of Heavy Electrical Complex (HEC) and First Women Bank Limited.

The board gave directives for re-advertising the contract for financial advisers for the privatisation of Pakistan Engineering Company and Sindh Engineering Limited after the top-ranking company turned out to be individuals, suggesting a lack of proper homework by the consultants at the initial stage.

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The PC board approved the terms of reference (TORs) for the Roosevelt Hotel task force, said Samreen Zahra, spokesperson for the commission. TORs will now be sent to the Cabinet Committee on Privatisation (CCOP) for final approval.

The CCOP last month had constituted a task force for finalising the TORs for leasing out Roosevelt Hotel, owned by PIA Investment Limited.

A July 2019 feasibility study, conducted by Deloitte Transactions and Business Analytics, recommended that the "highest and best use of Roosevelt Hotel property is to redevelop the site into a mixed use of primarily office tower over retail and condominium". The board decided that the Roosevelt Hotel transaction would be completed under the Privatisation Ordinance 2000.

The board approved the initiation of the process of appointing financial advisers for leasing out the site of Roosevelt for setting up a joint venture project for prospective mixed-use development, through the best-suited mode of privatisation.

The task force will oversee the transaction to ensure effective and efficient implementation of the CCOP decision in compliance with provisions of the Privatisation Ordinance 2000 and rules and regulations.

The quorum of the task force would be considered incomplete without the presence of minister for privatisation, special assistant to the prime minister on overseas Pakistanis and chief executive officer of Pakistan International Airlines.

PSM

Zahra said the board was apprised by the commission of the status of hiring financial advisers for the privatisation of PSM.

She said the board gave directives for expeditiously addressing the sticking points that were delaying finalisation of the agreement.

The government wants to privatise PSM by the fourth quarter of the current fiscal year but the shortlisted financial advisers are seeking undue benefits like a share in future rental income of the mill, according to another official of the commission.

Last month, the PC board approved the appointment of a consortium of Pak-China Investment Company and Bank of China International as joint lead financial advisers.

The board did not approve the signing of the financial advisory services agreement for the privatisation of Pakistan Engineering Company and Sindh Engineering Limited as the shortlisted party lacked the requisite experience.

For the privatisation of HEC, the board approved the top-ranked interested party - a consortium of Bridge Factor and National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) - and allowed its hiring as financial advisers. The PC announced the notional value of the expected sale proceeds at Rs750 million.

The PC board approved Bridge Factor, NBP, Grant Thornton Anjum Rahman, and Vellani & Vellani as financial advisers for the First Women Bank Limited (FWBL) transaction, subject to successful contract negotiations. The firm will charge a minimum of Rs32.5 million as the transaction fee.

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The board also approved MCB Bank, EY Ford Rhodes, Elixir Securities Pakistan (Private) Limited and Haidermota & Co (sub-contractor) as financial advisers for the privatisation of House Building Finance Company. They will charge a minimum of Rs80.3 million in fee.

The board approved the appointment of a consortium of Habib Bank Limited, Next Capital Limited and Haidermota & Co as financial advisers for the divestment of up to 20% shares in Pakistan Reinsurance Company Limited held by the government of Pakistan. They will charge a minimum fee of Rs28 million.

The board approved a consortium of UBL, EY, Haidermota and Nespak for appointment as financial advisers for the 425-525MW Nandipur power plant. The consortium will charge Rs113 million in addition to 0.31% of the sale proceeds as a success fee.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 28th, 2019.

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