Saturday, December 27, 2014

Race for stake in NBPOL most intense plantation deal

Saturday, 27 December 2014


As of Dec 22, the plantation group has a market capitalisation of RM5.4bil.
As of Dec 22, the plantation group has a market capitalisation of RM5.4bil.
THE most intense cross-border oil palm plantation deal this year has to be the race for a major stake in London Stock Exchange (LSE) listed New Britain Palm Oil Ltd (NBPOL) based in Papua New Guinea (PNG).
NBPOL was coveted by many regional plantation companies given its credentials as a fully integrated palm oil producer with 135,000ha of brownfield assets, 12 mills and one refinery each in PNG and Liverpool as well as the largest sugar cane and beef producer in PNG.
As of Dec 22, the plantation group has a market capitalisation of £997.82mil (RM5.4bil).
Initially, the NBPOL’s stake up for grabs was the 49% stake owned by Malaysia’s Johor Corp plantation investment arm, Kulim (M) Bhd, which saw competitive bidding from seven potential planters, whereby four believed to have been short-listed.
It is also believed that intense bidding war took place between two government-linked companies, Sime Darby Bhd and Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) for Kulim’s stake in NBPOL.
In the end, lady luck favoured Sime Darby as the conglomerate was chosen as the preferred party to negotiate for Kulim’s equity stake in NBPOL in July.
The plantation conglomerate also had a 60-day exclusivity period to decide on the proposed acquisition.
Upon the expiry of the exclusivity period under the exclusivity agreement between Sime Darby and Kulim on Sept 28, Sime Darby made an announcement to Bursa on its decision to abort the NBPOL deal but it did not disclose the details.
This sudden turn of event has sparked market talk that it could paved the way for other suitors including FGV to acquire the NBPOL stake.
On Oct 9, Sime Darby sprung another big surprise to launch a conditional general offer (GO) to acquire all shares in NBPOL at £7.15 per share or £1.07bil in cash.
The GO will be subject to Sime Darby receiving a minimum acceptance of 51% of the NBPOL shares, an assurance that the offer will not be contrary to PNG’s national interest, and meeting the regulatory requirements by the LSE, the Port Moresby Stock Exchange, the PNG government and Bursa Malaysia.
The latest development is that Sime Darby has extended the offer period for the takeover of NBPOL from Dec 18, 2014 to Jan 20, 2015.
NBPOL’s shareholders owning 58.7% of the shares, including Kulim, have accepted Sime Darby’s offer.
Sime Darby expects the exercise to raise about RM2.75bil. The privatisation of NBPOL will also see the PNG plantation group delisted from the UK bourse.
Meanwhile, Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV)is also a no stranger to mega plantation deals particularly in the past two years. FGV upped the ante this year by setting its sight on Asian Plantations Ltd (APL) listed on the LSE’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM) and also, NBPOL.
FGV, however, failed in its bid to acquire NBPOL after an intense bidding process.
Undeterred, FGV reverted to its earlier plan by launching an offer to buy APL for £2.20 (RM11.50) per share, or RM628mil in total, in late August.
The offer became unconditional on Oct 13 after FGV secured valid acceptances of 93.9% APL’s issued shares.
On Nov 11, FGV went on to delist APL from LSE’s AIM market after the plantation group completed its purchase of APL shares.
Hence, with the delisting of APL on AIM, FGV will be working towards integrating APL into its wholly owned subsidiary, according to FGV group president and CEO Datuk Mohd Emir Mavani Abdullah.
APL owns 24,622ha of oil palm plantations through its five wholly-owned estates in Miri and Bintulu, Sarawak.

1 comment:

  1. Greetings from a long winter Polish
    and wishes
    A wonderful New Year!