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Beximco buys into Singer

Beximco Group has paired up with other investors to buy a 55 percent stake in home appliances giant Singer Bangladesh.

The deal was signed on Thursday, Salman F Rahman, Beximco's vice-chairman, told The Daily Star yesterday.

Rahman has declined to give financial details on the deal, as he said the agreement is subject to regulatory approval.

Based on the current market price per Singer share, the deal amounts to more than Tk 945 crore.

We will now apply for approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission, said Rahman.

Singer Bangladesh is the latest on Beximco's recent list of buying moves.

Considered one of the largest conglomerates in the country, Beximco had earlier bought stakes in five-star hotel The Westin, GMG Airlines and Scholastica Group.

A senior official of Singer Bangladesh said the 55 percent stake had been owned by Singer Bhold BV of the Netherlands. The deal covers 12,34,124 shares or a 55 percent stake of Singer, said the official. Of the remaining 45 percent stake, 20 percent is blocked shares and 25 percent is owned by general shareholders.

Details on other partners of the Beximco-led consortium were not immediately available.

Singer is a popular household name in Bangladesh for its home appliances. It sells goods from refrigerator to micro-woven, laptop and motorbike and has outlets across the country. It also sells other companies' goods at its Singer Plus outlets.

Replying to a query, Rahman said there would be no change in the existing Singer Bangladesh management. I am happy with the present management, he noted.

In a statement, Stephen H Goodman, Singer Corporation's president, said: "I am extremely pleased by the opportunity the company has to place majority control of its Bangladesh operation with a distinguished group of Bangladesh investors."

"I anticipate that with majority ownership in local hands and the Company's existing, excellent management continuing in place, revenue and profit growth at Singer Bangladesh will accelerate."

Singer Bangladesh listed on the Dhaka Stock Exchange in 1983. The company logged Tk 26.36 crore in profit after tax in the third quarter, up from Tk 20.38 crore in the previous quarter. Its paid-up capital is Tk 22.4 crore.

The price of each Singer share closed at Tk 7,660 on the prime bourse on Thursday.

Beximco has several companies listed on the stock market.

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India has 8 billionaires within the fortune 500 list and at least 3 of them are within top 10. The way Salman F. Rahman is heading, I am sure he is up for something. Baximco has become the most vibrant and robust player in the market and the way they are grabbing business entities, soon Bangladesh will have someone in that top fortune 500 list. Good newsI do not think so? No one is asking where Baximco is finding all that huge cash to grab shares in those new acquires.

: Sheikh Monirul Islam, Opee





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