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Prax Overseas Holdings Limited (Prax), a UK-based company, has expressed its intention to acquire a majority stake and control of Shell Pakistan Limited (SPL).

The development was shared by AKD Securities Limited, a brokerage house, which was appointed as the manager to the offer, in a notice to the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Monday.

“We, AKD Securities Limited have been appointed as the manager to the offer by Prax Overseas Holdings Limited, in accordance with regulation 6(1) of the Listed Companies (Substantial Acquisition of Voting Shares and Takeovers) Regulations, 2017,” read the notice.

“On behalf of the acquirer, we are pleased to submit a Public Announcement of Intention to acquire up to 77.4296 of the issued and paid-up share capital and control of Shell Pakistan Limited,” it added.

Headquartered in London, the Prax Group is a British multinational, independent global energy conglomerate dealing in crude oil, petroleum products and bio-fuels.

Back in June this year, Shell Pakistan Limited announced that its parent company, Shell Petroleum Company Limited (SPCo), had notified its intent to sell its shareholding in SPL.

Back then, SPL said that the development would have no impact on its current business operations, which will continue.

While the announcement did not disclose the amount of shareholding SPCo intends to sell – it had a 77.42% stake in SPL as of December 31, 2022 (a little over 165.7 million shares), according to the annual report for that year – a company statement did convey that the oil giant is “seeing strong interest from international buyers”.

In July, Pakistan Refinery Limited (PRL) and Air Link Communication (AIRLINK) jointly expressed their intention to acquire the majority stake and control of Shell Pakistan Limited.

On Friday, Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter, reported that Saudi Aramco is exploring a potential bid for Shell Plc’s assets in Pakistan. The deal could mark the oil-rich nation’s first foray into the South Asian nation, the report added.

The Bloomberg report said the divestment plan comes as Shell executes a strategy under Chief Executive Officer Wael Sawan to increase returns to shareholders and cut businesses that aren’t making enough money.

SPL is a subsidiary of Shell Petroleum Company Limited, United Kingdom, which is a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, one of the world’s largest energy and petrochemical companies.

SPL markets petroleum products and compressed natural gas, and also blends and markets various kinds of lubricating oils.

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