The Privatisation Commission has suspended the process of sale of Thatta Cement Company Limited (TCCL) to Al-Abbas Group as the highest bidder has challenged it before the Sindh High Court, a commission official said.
Star Cotton Group, the Karachi-based company, was declared the highest bidder of TCCL in the privatisation which took place in November 2003, but it failed to deposit the required money within the prescribed deadline. Consequently, the commission declared Star Cotton Group a defaulter last month, forfeited its earnest money of Rs50m and offered the unit to remaining two bidders.
The official said the commission first offered Thatta Cement to Haji Saifullah Group, the second highest bidder, but it did not show any interest as a result the unit was offered to Al-Abbas Group.
Al-Abbas Group accepted the commission¹s offer last month and had deposited 50 per cent of the bid amount to acquire the cement unit, but Star Cotton Group has challenged this case before the Sindh High Court, blocking the sale of the unit.
³We have now stopped the further process and are looking towards the court decision,² said the official. He pointed out that instead of making required payment, the Star Cotton Group had raised those issues that should have been discussed and resolved in the pre-bid meeting.