BILLIONAIRES Li Ka-shing, Robert Kuok and Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan, along with savvy investor Paul Poh will make up an all-star list of shareholders in an upcoming flotation of Indonesian oil and gas producer Samudra Energy Ltd on the Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX).
Samudra, which released its prospectus on Thursday, has three oil producing assets in South Sumatra and is seeking to raise between S$248mil (RM635mil) and S$276.3mil (RM706mil), largely to retire debts, a move which would nudge the company towards profitability.
Li, Quek and Poh are cornerstone investors in Samudra’s planned IPO, while Kuok’s Kerry Group is an early investor in the company, holding 21.9%.
The largest shareholder in Samudra is Indonesian focused private equity firm Northstar Group, which is now part of US-based TPG Capital.
Quek and Poh, via GuoLine Capital and Caprice Capital respectively, are part of four cornerstone investors in Samudra.
It is understood that Quek and Poh’s subscription of Samudra shares will see them owning just under 10% of Samudra’s enlarged shareholding base.
Hong-Kong’s Li via Sky Trinity Investments, a subsidiary of Hutchison Whampoa, and fund manager OCP Asia are the other two cornerstone investors.
This is possibly the first time that the Malaysian-born tycoons Kuok and Quek will be substantial shareholders in a listed company. The presence of Hong Kong’s Li adds even more star value to Samudra’s shareholder list. Insiders say it is co-incidental that these big names appear as Samudra Energy’s shareholders.
Li ranks as the 15th richest person in the world by Forbes, while Kuok, who is Malaysia’s top billionaire, is in position 104 globally. Quek is Malaysia’s fourth richest, going by the Forbes list.
Quek whose main stay is in banking and property under the Hong Leong group of companies, has been active in oil and gas investments. In May 2013, Quek bought into TH Heavy Engineering Bhd, surfacing with a 9.1% stake after a private placement at 45 sen per share. That investment has more than doubled in value.
Quek then teamed up with his associate Poh to make joint investments in Scomi Energy Services Bhd and Alam Maritim Resources Bhd, both key oil and gas service providers in Malaysia. In mid-April, Quek also bought 100 million shares in SGX-listed Ezion, the largest lift boat owner in the world.
Poh, a former long-serving employee of the Hong Leong Group, is increasingly making a name for himself as an active and savvy investor.
Poh’s Caprice Capital was a cornerstone investor in last year’s mega IPO of UMW Oil And Gas Corp Bhd. Caprice has also made investments with Creador Sdn Bhd, the private equity fund helmed by Brahmal Vasudevan, into companies such as Bonia Corp Bhd and MNC Sky Vision, Indonesia’s largest pay-TV operator.
Poh is also a cornerstone investor in soon-to-be-listed Reach Energy Bhd, the fourth and largest special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).
According to Samudra’s prospectus, the company has a production level of 2,409 barrels of oil per day, which would make it the fourth largest producer of hydrocarbons listed on SGX.
It says it has proven oil reserves of 49 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe) and contingent reserves of 39.3 mmboe.
Samudra has three producing assets, one in development stage and another four exploration assets. It says the operating cash flow from the producing assets “reduces the financing risk of development, appraisal and exploration operations”.
In 2013, Samudra reported revenues of US$54.2mil (RM172mil), earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of US$13mil (RM41.3mil) and a net loss of US$33.6mil (RM107mil).