Karachi: Bestway Cement Limited (“Bestway Cement”), a subsidiary of Bestway Group (“Bestway”) has announced assumption of management control of Lafarge Pakistan Cement Limited (“Lafarge Pakistan”). This follows the company’s successful bid for 75.86% of Lafarge Pakistan’s shares for an enterprise value of USD 329 million in July 2014. Bestway Cement also acquired another 12.07% shares of the target company through the public offer process taking its shareholding in Lafarge Pakistan to 87.93%.
Acquisition of Lafarge Pakistan’s 2.5 million tonnes per annum (“TPA”) cement plant located in Chakwal, means that Bestway Cement has now become the largest cement manufacturer in Pakistan with a total capacity of more than 8 million TPA representing 18% of the entire industry’s capacity in the country.
Mr. Zameer Choudary, Bestway Group’s Chief Executive and CEO of Bestway Cement, in his address to a large gathering of staff, various stakeholders and dignitaries at a prestigious ceremony at Islamabad to celebrate the occasion said that taking over of Lafarge Pakistan was a momentous occasion and a major milestone for Bestway Group. He extended warm welcome to the staff of Lafarge Pakistan into Bestway family. He expressed his commitment to further developing the acquired company into a role model for cement industry to follow and stated that Bestway intended to invest nearly US$ 30 million in the acquired company including, among other things, an environmentally friendly waste heat recovery power plant. Bestway is by far the largest overseas Pakistani investor in the country and Mr. Chaudry reaffirmed his determination to continue playing his role in the economic development of Pakistan.
The UK-based global conglomerate is the UK’s eighteenth largest privately owned company and seventh largest family-owned business.
Bestway includes the UK’s second largest wholesaler serving 125,000 independent retailers and caterers from 64 warehouses nationwide and with over 6 million square feet of selling space. 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 US$10.3 billion and a branch network of over 1,400 branches serving over five million customers.
Bestway has a turnover of more than US$ 3.4 billion and a global workforce of nearly 34,000 of which 12,000 is in the UK and the rest is in Pakistan and the Gulf.