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ISLAMABAD: A meeting with pre-qualified bidders of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) and Privatisation Commission (PC) was held here at the Privatisation Division on Thursday.

Federal Minister for Privatisation Mir Abid Hussain Bhayo chaired meeting. Chairman Privatisation Saleem Ahmad, federal secretary, senior officials and financial advisors were present. The pre-qualified bidders who attended the meeting were: Bao Steel Group Xinjiang Bayi Iron & Steel Co Ltd, Tangshan Donghua Iron and Steel Enterprise Group Co Ltd, and Maanshan Iron and Steel Co Ltd.

In the meeting federal minister, chairman, secretary and FAs responded to the queries/ inquiries from the pre-qualified bidders. The pre-qualified bidders inquired about the potential timeline for the approval of the scheme of arrangement (included in the transaction structure of PSMC), valuation procedure, likely dilution of the GoP shares, utility connections and use of jetty and land lease agreements.

After the pre-qualification of bidders, the buyer side due diligence was initiated by granting access to Virtual Data Room (VDR) since March, 2022. A request was also made for the technical professionals of each pre-qualified bidder to visit PSMC for inspection/ assessment of the steel plant, jetty, etc.

Presently, buyer side due diligence is ongoing; however, confirmation of the site visit is still awaited. The federal minister in his welcome address to the investors said that the Government of Pakistan is keen to share with our time-tested Chinese friends the advantages accruing from the strategic position of Pakistan.

The pre-qualified parties are among the leading global manufacturers and Pakistan is offering these pre-qualified bidders access to a huge market of steel with potential for exports across the globe.

SSGCL: PSM sell-off process hits a snag

Federal Minister further added that the biggest advantage for the potential bidder would be the encumbrances-free entity as the company (Steel Corp) has been insulated from all legacy issues including financial and HR liabilities.

Hussain Bhayo further said that the government’s investment policy provides both domestic and foreign investors the same incentives, concessions, and facilities for industrial development. Pakistan is an ideal place for foreign investment and we are much keen to provide investors a friendly regime as we believe in ease of doing business.

He added that we shall facilitate the investors up to the maximum and will welcome the site visit of PSM from the pre-qualified bidders. While speaking at the occasion, Chairman Privatisation Saleem Ahmed commented that revitalization of Pakistan Steel Mills is vital for Pakistan’s economic growth.

Our proposed plan will not only envisage foreign direct investment and employment generation but also the creation of productive capacity necessary to sustain domestic infrastructure development with access to steel slated for export from Pakistan’s strategic geo-location. He further noted the importance of Pakistan’s fraternal ties with China in enabling a long-term partnership to benefit the people of both countries.

Later, a meeting regarding reviewing the progress of the revival of Pakistan Steel Mills was held. Federal Minister for Privatisation Bhayo and Minister for Industries and Production Syed Murtaza Mahmud jointly chaired this important meeting.

Chairman Privatisation Saleem Ahmed, federal secretaries Privatisation, Industries and Production, Chairman Port Qasim Authority, CEO Pakistan Steel Mills were present besides senior officials of the ministry.

The meeting was held to discuss corporate matters which are to be resolved in collaboration with the Ministry of Industries, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Pakistan Steel Mills Corporation. Federal Minister for Industries and Production said that the corporate matter for the completion of the transaction would be resolved on a priority basis with the active engagement of all stakeholders.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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