Salman Iqbal of
ARY Group to
buy 25pc stake
in Summit Bank

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KARACHI: Salman Iqbal, owner of the ARY Group, has agreed to subscribe to up to 25 per cent shares of Summit Bank Ltd at a price of Rs2.51 per share as part of a consortium led by Nasser Abdulla Hussain Lootah, a businessman from the United Arab Emirates, said a stock filing on Friday.

Salman Iqbal

The consortium aims to acquire at least 51pc shareholding in the bank, which is the second smallest of the 20 listed lenders in terms of the value of shares.

It will acquire the bank’s majority stake and management control by both subscribing to new shares as well as purchasing existing shares through a public offer at Rs2.51 apiece.

Meanwhile, according to an Arab News report, Salman Iqbal has agreed to join a consortium led by a Dubai-based business tycoon Nasser Abdulla Hussain Lootah to acquire 25 percent stakes in Summit Bank Limited (SBL), said the bank in its stock filing.

In March this year Lootah had released tender offer to acquire at least 51 percent stakes of Summit Bank that would lead to its acquisition along with management control. The Dubai-based businessman currently holds 0.51 percent or 13 million stakes in the bank.

“I write to inform that Mr. Salman Iqbal has agreed in principle to subscribe to such number of shares in SBL (as part of consortium) at a subscription price of PKR 2.51 per share, that will enable Mr. Salman Iqbal to become a maximum up to 25% shareholder in SBL (subject to regulatory approval),” Lootah said in a letter to the Summit Bank CEO that was disclosed at the Pakistan Stock Exchange on Friday.

“The aforesaid percentage will be computed after taking into account the shares that are to be subscribed/acquired by me,” he continued, adding: “I will remain fully obligated to acquire the shares from the shareholders pursuant to public announcement of offer published … on March 22, 2022.”

Salman Iqbal is the founder and CEO of Pakistan’s ARY Digital Television Network and owner of Karachi Kings cricket team.

A file picture of Summit Bank, Rawalpindi branch

The SBL board of directors will review Lootah’s letter in an emergent meeting scheduled for Monday, May 9, 2022. Summit Bank is the subsidiary of Suroor Investment Limited, a Mauritius-based investment firm, which owns 66.77 percent (1.76 billion ordinary shares) of the issued share capital of the company, according to the bank’s annual report ended December 31, 2021.

Lootah had submitted his offer and signed a share subscription agreement with the bank in October 2021. The bank would issue new ordinary shares without rights offering, enabling the inflow of fresh equity.

The SBL intends to issue a total of 5,976.096 million new ordinary shares, according to the annual report.

The Dubai-based business tycoon, who is acquiring the bank in personal capacity, holds wide ranging business interests in the fields of travel, shipping, real estate, mineral water, logistics, cargo handling, information technology, interactive media, production and brand communication.

The SBL board of directors had approved Lootah’s offer at a discount price of Rs2.51 per share in October last year. The value of the deal is around Rs15 billion.

The bank’s loss after tax for 2021 stood at Rs2.887 billion against Rs6.948 billion last year, showing an improvement of 58 percent. Its management hopes the transaction would inject fresh capital in the bank.

Summit Bank currently has a network of 193 branches across Pakistan of which 43 branches in 23 cities are offering Islamic banking opportunities. The bank has already decided to convert itself into a complete Islamic bank by 2023.