WorldCall Telecom Limited (WTL) has received a Public Announcement of Intention (PAI) from ARY Communications Limited and ARY Digital FZ LLC to acquire more than 51 percent of the Issued and Paid-up Share Capital of WorldCall Telecom Limited together with management control, as stated in a notification submitted to the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX).

The acquisition has been in the works for months since ARY had announced its plans on 23 February 2021 to acquire this share with the intent to take over 100 percent shares of WTL. It was revealed in the same announcement that the deal would be signed after ninety days. Now, upon the completion of the stipulated time period, ARY has rebid to acquire a stake in WTL.

However, WTL’s announcements of being taken over are nothing new as it had made similar announcements on at least three different occasions on 1 November 2019, 7 August 2020, and 23 February 2021. Every one of these announcements had also brought a stock price shoot for WTL on the stock market.

Each time, the PAI is submitted by AKD Securities as it has been appointed as the Manager to the Offer by the acquirers in accordance with the provisions of the Act and the Regulations. According to the official of AKD Securities, the duration for making a public announcement of the offer had lapsed on 5 May 2021 on the basis that the negotiations between the Acquirer and the Target’s sponsors have not been concluded to date.

A letter by the AKD Securities read: “This is with reference to the Public Announcement of Intention (PAI) made by ARY Communications Limited and ARY Digital FZ LLC (collectively, the ‘Acquirers’) dated August 06, 2020 to directly or indirectly acquire more than 51% ordinary share capital of WorldCall Telecom Limited (the ‘Target’), subject to successful conclusion of the negotiations between the acquirer and sponsors of the target company (the ‘Transaction’)”.

It further said that “In the premises, and pursuant to Regulation 21 1(e) and 21 (2) of the Listed Companies (Substantial Acquisition of Voting Shares and Takeover) Regulations 2017 (‘Regulations’) read with the Securities Act 2015, we hereby give notice that as of the expiry date, the PAI stands withdrawn. The Acquirers continue to be committed to consummate the Transaction pending successful conclusion of the negotiations and receipt of regulatory approvals”.

“This process of withdrawal and re-issuance of PAI is being undertaken to ensure compliance with the applicable law. Accordingly, the transaction will be consummated immediately upon conclusion of the negotiations and receipt of regulatory approvals,” the letter said.

ARY Communications Limited is the licensee of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA). It has obtained various licenses (Satellite TV & Landing Rights) from PEMRA and operates seven channels in Pakistan. It is also engaged in the business of audio text, voice mail, and other value-added services in Pakistan.

ARY Digital FZ LLC has been incorporated into Dubai Media City as a Free Zone Establishment with Limited Liability. It is engaged in the business of Broadcast and Production Support Services of Films, TV & Radio.

WTL’s scrip at the bourse was closed at Rs. 1.69, up by Rs. 0.16 or 10.46%, with a turnover of 72.91 million shares on Monday.

For now, if this announcement will lead to any change of ownership in the shares or if it is just another episode of WTL announcing a takeover is anybody’s guess.