By an OGJ Online Correspondent
KARACHI, Mar. 23�Pakistan's privatization ministry has retained financial adviser JP Morgan to help it sell part of Pakistan State Oil (PSO), the country's largest oil marketing company.
The government plans to sell 51% and management control. No deadline has been set, but the government plans to complete the privatization within 18 months.
PSO is engaged in storage, distribution and marketing of petroleum products, petrochemicals, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) business.
As a first step, PSO's liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) business will be sold.
While the government is considering the possibility of restructuring PSO, it expects petroleum companies or consortia with international experience to participate in the sale.
For year 2000, the company's post tax profits were 3.5 billion rupees ($60 million) up from 3.3 billion rupees in 1999. Its sale revenues stood at 135 billion rupees from 12.7 million tonnes of products, which was 72% of the country's consumption of 17.6 million tonnes.
The government earlier appointed Merrill Lynch the financial advisor for Oil & Gas Development Co. Ltd., the largest state-owned oil and gas exploration company (OGJ Online, Dec. 11, 2000). Gaffney, Cline & Associates has been hired for the sale of state assets in nine oil and gas fields.