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Saturday, October 1, 2022

Mobile distributor Air Link plans Pakistan’s biggest private sector IPO

Air Link Communication Ltd. plans to raise at least 5.85 billion rupees ($36 million) through an initial public offering this month, which would be the largest from a non-state firm in Pakistan.

The mobile distributor and assembler will utilise funds from a planned Initial Public Offering (IPO) to expand its distribution network as the company looks to take advantage of the government’s ‘Made in Pakistan’ policies as well as tap eager stock market investors.

The company is offering 90 million shares at a minimum price of Rs 65/share in order to raise the amount, which Muzzaffar Hayat Piracha, the Chief Executive Officer said would be used to meet working capital requirements and expand the distribution network. It will take investor orders on Aug. 30 and 31 and then price the offering.

Currently, the company has a network of over 4,000 retailers and 1,000 wholesalers in over 300 cities, and also runs 14 retail outlets in five cities.

Between 2012-21, sales of Air Link have increased from Rs 140 million to over Rs 47 billion, said the CEO. “The company expects that post-IPO it will be able to grow the topline by a minimum of 50% in the next financial year.”

Air Link, which has also recently expanded into mobile assembling, plans to use the funds to expand its distribution network. It aims to have 150 outlets by 2026 from 14 currently, which will boost margins together with the assembly business.

The Lahore-based company expects its revenue to triple to 129 billion rupees and net income surging 500% to 9.2 billion rupees by fiscal 2025 from 2020.

The company plans to issue 60 million new shares and Piracha will sell 30 million from his holdings, said Kamran Nasir, CEO at JS Global Capital Ltd., consultant and bookrunner to the transaction. The IPO will be the largest since Interloop Ltd. raised about 5 billion rupees in 2019.

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