KARACHI: Bestway Cement, a subsidiary of Bestway Group, has taken management control of Lafarge Pakistan Cement.
Bestway Cement, which has now become the largest cement-maker in Pakistan after acquiring Lafarge, had earlier bid for 75.86% of Lafarge’s shares for an enterprise value of $329 million in July 2014.
The company also acquired another 12.07% shares through the public offer, taking its shareholding in Lafarge Pakistan to 87.93%.
Total capacity of Bestway has now reached more than 8 million tons per annum – 18% of the entire cement industry’s capacity in the country – after the acquisition of Lafarge that has a capacity of 2.5 million tons per annum. Lafarge’s plant is located in Chakwal, Punjab.
“Taking over Lafarge Pakistan is a momentous occasion and a major milestone for the Bestway Group,” said Zameer Choudrey, Chief Executive of Bestway Group and CEO of Bestway Cement, while talking to the company staff in Islamabad.
Choudrey said Bestway intended to invest nearly $30 million in the acquired company, part of which would go to an environment- friendly waste heat recovery power plant.
He said his company was committed to further developing the acquired company into a role model for the cement industry to follow. Bestway is by far the largest overseas Pakistani investor in the country and Choudrey reaffirmed his determination to continue playing his role in the economic development of Pakistan.
The global conglomerate is the UK’s 18th largest privately owned company and seventh largest family-owned business.
Bestway includes UK’s second largest wholesaler serving 125,000 independent retailers and caterers from 64 warehouses nationwide. The group also recently acquired UK’s third largest pharmacy business – The Co-Operative Pharmacy (now rebranded as Well Pharmacy).
The pharmacy business has over 770 branches across the UK and over 7,000 employees.
United Bank Limited – Bestway’s banking division – is Pakistan’s second largest private bank with assets under management of $10.3 billion and a branch network of over 1,400.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 24th, 2015.