Unilever’s Pakistan Delivery Partner Plans IPO to Expand Network
(Bloomberg) -- Universal Network System Ltd., a Pakistan courier service that counts the local units of Unilever Plc and Nestle SA as clients, is planning an initial public offering to expand its network and bolster its technology backbone.
The Karachi-based company, which operates the blueEX courier service, plans to sell new shares equal to 25% of the company within the next two months, said Chief Executive Officer Imran Baxamoosa. He didn’t disclose financial details.
The initial share sale will make it the first logistics company to list in Pakistan and lure investors to a business that’s crucial for the nation’s booming e-commerce industry, according to Topline Securities Pakistan Ltd., financial adviser for the IPO.
“There is some crazy exponential growth that is being foreseen right now,” Baxamoosa said in a phone interview. “We have grown organically so far but now it’s about time that we get aggressive.”
The courier company that started by handling cargo in 2005 entered the e-commerce business six years later by going door-to-door and convincing companies to start online sales. It even made websites, back-end software and set up a call center for its clients.
It now has about 1,000 employees and over 350 vehicles. The company will use the proceeds to boost its network fourfold. It will also add servers and other IT equipment.
The nation’s e-commerce industry is in its infancy but is growing rapidly as internet and smartphone penetration jump, according to Ruchir Desai, fund manager at Hong Kong-based Asia Frontier Capital Ltd. The pandemic could be a big trigger for the market, he said.
The company handled 2.1 million shipments and 4.5 billion rupees in cash deliveries in the year ended June. It has grown annually by about 70% on average since 2012. The company forecasts revenue will rise more than three times to 4.3 billion rupees in fiscal 2023, according to Baxamoosa.
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