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U.S.-Based Bestfoods Seeks To Up Stake in Pakistani Firm

KARACHI: U.S.-based Bestfoods Inc. is seeking to boost its 51% stake in its Pakistani subsidiary, Rafhan Best Foods Ltd., to 75%. Sources say the U.S. firm has made an offer to buy the shares at 325 rupees per share (US$6.29) of Rafhan Best Foods against the current market price of 234 rupees (US$4.53). The offer is valid until Oct. 4. Jardine Fleming Pakistan, a 100%-owned subsidiary of Jardine Fleming Hong Kong, has been nominated as investment advisor to Bestfoods. Rafhan Best Foods produces and sells food products under the brand names of Rafhan, Knorr, Energile, Best Foods, Caterplan, and Skippy. Its six-month unaudited accounts for the period ending Mar. 31 showed pretax profit of 62.62 million rupees, slightly down from 62.80 million rupees in the same period last year. However, the company improved its net sales by 31% to 573.04 million rupees in the first six months (Oct.-Mar.) against 436.98 million rupees in the same period last year.

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