PETALING JAYA: Tanjung Offshore Bhd managing director Harzani Azmi has emerged as a substantial shareholder in Bio Osmo Bhd, spurring speculation that the loss-making bottled water manufacturer might change its course into the more lucrative oil and gas (O&G) sector.
Shares in Bio Osmo have rocketed since the completion of its restructuring exercise on Nov 28.
“The completion of this exercise was a huge milestone for the group. Initially, it was about cleaning up the house. Now, they are looking for growth, and O&G could be the new direction they want to take,’’ said a source.
Harzani, via private company Al Maurid Resources Sdn Bhd, has acquired 28% in Bio Osmo after taking up 99 million shares in the company.
Bio Osmo sold 115 million shares via a private placement to raise funds and pay off its RM65mil debt. The company’s water bottling business has been making losses for the past five years.
It is unclear at this juncture what is in store for Bio Osmo, but the entry of Harzani has certainly whet punters’ appetite.
In recent times, there has been a growing number of small troubled companies going through some form of transformation or the other to emerge as a budding O&G play.
A recent example is aviation training firm APFT Bhd, which acquired a 51% stake in PT Technic (M) Sdn Bhd – an O&G services contractor – in a bid to diversify its earnings and reverse its fortune.
Shareholders in Bio Osmo are certainly hoping that Harzani can turn the company around.
Harzani has over 25 years of experience in the O&G industry both domestically and internationally.
He was instrumental in the setting up of Proserv Far East Pte Ltd for the Asia-Pacific region, a Norway-based company involved in production technology and services for the energy industry.
He has been at the helm of Tanjung Offshore since September 2012.
Tanjung Offshore has been in the news over the last few months for its proposed acquisition of a foreign O&G company that owns and manages several offshore oil rigs for close to RM1bil.
The company is cash rich but still without a core business after it sold its offshore supply vessel (OSV) business to Ekuiti Nasional Bhd in July 2012 for RM220mil. Since then, it has been on the lookout for new assets.
Meanwhile, Bio Osmo shares have been on an uptrend since the completion of its corporate restructuring exercise. It ended Thursday one sen down to 22 sen on a volume of 63 million shares.
Prior to November last year, the stock had been languishing at the 10-sen level, way below its par value of 20 sen.
The recently completed restructuring exercise entailed the full settlement of some RM65mil in debt owing to Bank Kerjasama Rakyat Malaysia Bhd, Idaman Capital Bhd and certain trade and non-trade creditors via the issuance of new ordinary shares and convertible preference shares.
With this exercise, the group is now literally debt-free.
For the third quarter to Sept 30, 2013, the company was back in the black with a net profit of RM542,000 from a previous loss of RM2.03mil. Revenue dropped 76.18% to RM1.03mil.
For the nine-month period, meanwhile, the company narrowed its losses to RM2.54mil from RM11.24mil previously. Revenue was up 26.42% to RM15.3mil.
Bio Osmo was listed on Dec 5, 2007 at an initial public offering (IPO) price of 33 sen. The stock has yet to go beyond its IPO price.