State owned Chinese companies are pushing to buy a $1.5 billion controlling stake in K-Electric. K-Electric Limited, formerly known as Karachi ElectricSupply Company Limited (KESC), is at present the only vertically-integrated power utility in Pakistan that manages the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity to the city of Karachi – according to its website.
According to K-Electric’s website, it was established more than one hundred years ago on September 13, 1913 and is one of the oldest companies operational in Karachi. It was set up under the Indian Companies Act of 1882 as the Karachi Electric Supply Corporation – KESC. The entity was nationalized in 1952 but re-privatized on November 29, 2005. KESC came under new management in September, 2008 and was renamed as the Karachi Electric Supply Company.
At least 3 Chinese firms are bidding to grasp this opportunity in Pakistan besides few other local Pakistani firms. According to Tribune Express of Pakistan, the three firms are:
- State-backed Shanghai Electric Power
- China Southern Power Grid
- Shanghai based Golden Concord Holdings
Dubai-based private equity firm Abraaj Group owns 66% stake in K-Electric with a market value of approximately $1.5 billion. Abraaj Group is seeking to exit this investment with a goal entertaining final bids for its stake by end of August, 2016.