KUALA LUMPUR: Sime Darby Plantation (SDP), the plantation arm of Sime Darby Bhd, completed its acquisition of Papua New Guinea-based New Britain Palm Oil Ltd (NBPOL) on Monday, bringing its total land bank to almost one million hectares spread out over five countries.
Sime Darby told Bursa Malaysia that SDP would be focusing on integrating the operations of both companies over the next few months, adding that NBPOL was a strategic fit with its track record on sustainability.
“This is a historic day for Sime Darby. NBPOL was founded by Harrisons & Crosfield, the company that was part of a merger exercise that created the Sime Darby of today, the world’s biggest producer of certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO). It is a family reunion of sorts,” said Sime Darby president and group chief executive officer Tan Sri Mohd Bakke Salleh in a statement Monday.
SDP is a founder member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil and together with NBPOL’s capacity, it can produce almost 26% of the global CSPO output.
The acquisition adds on 135,000ha of land in Papua New Guinea to SDP’s total land bank.
SDP managing director Datuk Franki Anthony Dass said that NBPOL will immediately contribute to SDP’s bottom line as it was a well-managed company with an experienced management team.
“We have been working on identifying the synergies and our immediate priority will be to unlock value from these synergies,” he said.
Apart from expanding its upstream business in Papua New Guinea, Sime Darby said that NBPOL provided SDP the opportunity to grow its downstream operations in Europe, as the former’s Liverpool refinery will complement the latter’s refinery in the Netherlands.
NBPOL already supplies to over 110 customers in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
“NBPOL has a long-standing commitment to sustainability, similar to SDP. This is a union of like-minded organisations and we are excited to be part of the Sime Darby family,” said NBPOL chief executive officer Nick Thompson.
SDP will have five representatives on NBPOL’s board, namely Datuk Henry Sackville Barlow (set to be appointed chairman of the board), Datuk Rashidi Che Omar, Rosely Kusip, Mohd Bakke and Franki.
They will replace outgoing directors Antonio Monteiro de Castro, Datuk Kamaruzzaman Abu Kassim and Ahamad Mohamad.
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