Softlogic Group Chairman Ashok Pathirage disclosed that he had further increased Softlogic’s shareholding in clothing giant Odel PLC this week. Softlogic Retail (Private) Limited, under which the group operates both Odel and various franchises of foreign designer brands, purchased 2.23 percent of the shares that high-net-worth investor Dr. T. Senthilverl held in Odel. This brings the Softlogic group’s shareholding in Odel to 96.37 percent.
Under the requirements for continued listing, Odel, as an entity listed in the secondary board, should have a minimum public shareholding of 10 percent by December 31, 2016. The Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) had recently communicated that it would not remove the minimum public float requirement. The Colombo Stock Exchange officials had requested that the companies which were not planning to adhere to the requirement to delist, as a forced delisting would look bad towards the bourse. Odel posted a net profit of Rs.255.83 million for the 2016 financial year, compared to a Rs.160.86 million net profit in 2015. Increased tourism to Sri Lanka has reflected favourably on Odel. The Odel flagship store off Alexandra Place is currently in the process of being expanded into a 300,000 square foot mega mall.