Nebras Power Investment Management BV – a Qatar-based investment company – has paid $10.91 million (Tk116 crore as per Bangladesh Bank rate on 27 March) to Unique Hotel and Resorts Limited as the second and third phase payments for acquiring stake at Unique Meghnaghat Power Limited.
Earlier in March last year, the company disbursed $9.6 million or Tk82 crore as the first phase payment.
In April 2021, Nebras Power signed an agreement with Unique Hotel and Strategic Finance and Investments Ltd to buy a 24% stake in Unique Meghnaghat Power for Tk450 crore.
As per the agreement, Nebras Power Investment will buy 11.76% or 14,641 shares of the gas-based power plant from Unique Hotel at a face value of Tk10. Nebras Power has been paying $24.06 million, or Tk205 crore, in four phases for these shares, including a premium. Strategic Finance will sell 12.24% of its holdings for Tk245 crore.
Currently, Strategic Finance, Unique Hotel, and Nebras Power Investment Management hold 38.76%, 37.24%, and 24% of the shares of the power company, respectively.
Meanwhile, on the payment day, Unique Hotel's share price jumped over 8% and became one of the most traded shares at the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE). But the company published the news on 28 March on the DSE website. And that day, its shares remained unchanged, where they secured the second position on the top turnover chart.
Unique Hotel shares closed at Tk72.30 on Tuesday at the DSE.
The $463 million foreign loan
Unique Meghnaghat has secured a $463 million loan from four foreign lenders to finance the project.
In a stock exchange filing on 14 March this year, the Unique Hotel said the owning companies have agreed to finance 75% of the project from bank loans and the remaining 25% through equity support.
As part of this, they have recently signed an agreement with the four foreign financial institutions. Standard Chartered Bank will provide $270 million, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank $110 million, the Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG) $45 million, and the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) $38 million for 15 years.
In July 2019, Unique Hotel signed a 22-year power purchase agreement with the Bangladesh Power Development Board to set up the country's largest combined-cycle power plant of 584 MW, fuelled by natural gas.
The power plant will be built on 18.75 acres of land at Sonargaon's Meghnaghat in Narayanganj at an overall estimated cost of $520 million. It was supposed to go into operation by July 2022, generating electricity that could power seven lakh homes.
But due to the supply disruption caused by the Covid outbreak and later by the Ukraine-Russia war, the construction work has been delayed, and the new time will be determined by June this year.
Unique Hotel's financial performance
Unique Hotel and Resort, owner of the Westin Dhaka and Sheraton hotels, posted a 135% growth in revenue to Tk141 crore in the July-December period of last year.
The net profit of the company belonging to the travel and leisure sector also jumped around five times to Tk45 crore, while its earnings per share stood at Tk1.52 during the first half of FY23.
It earned an 84% higher revenue from The Westin Dhaka during the period. It earned Tk100 crore, 48.32% of which was from room rent and 45.15% from food services at the five-star hotel.
Midway News Team
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