Asdion may buy TAZ Logistics

PETALING JAYA: Software producer Asdion Bhd is expected to acquire TAZ Logistics Sdn Bhd, marking its entry into the logistics and transportation sector.

Asdion, which has some prior experience in port and logistics software and systems, would fork out RM6mil cash to buy 51% of the private company from its director and shareholder Datuk Mohamed Ridzuan Nor Mohamed, a source said.

It will raise the money via bank borrowings or use internal funds.

The source noted that the exercise was part of a “synergistic arrangement” under Asdion’s overall business strategy. The announcement is expected today.

StarBiz had on Wednesday reported that Asdion might see the emergence of new shareholders, following an exercise that could see it have a new business in the form of logistics and courier services.

The company had confirmed this to Bursa Malaysia on the same day and said that it was “currently at advanced stages of negotiation for the proposed acquisition of a company involved in the logistics business via cash”, but did not provide further details on the deal.

Asdion shares closed at 62 sen yesterday, up about 30% from a month ago.

According to the source, TAZ deals with dry bulk cargo stevedoring, which involves the unloading of cargoes from vessels, at the Kuantan Port.

TAZ holds a licence for this, awarded by Kuantan Port Consortium Sdn Bhd (KPC), the port operator of Kuantan Port. The licence, according to the source, is subject to renewal every year.

The types of dry bulk cargo dealt with at the Kuantan Port include palm kernel expellers and shells, cement, iron ore and fertilisers.

KPC is owned both by IJM Corp Bhd and a Hong Kong company, Beibu Gulf Holding Co Ltd, on a 60:40 equity basis.

Low-profile Asdion, according to its website, offers IT solutions for segments like hospitality, recreational, data services and healthcards.

The company is currently loss-making and has said that this year would remain challenging for it.

Bloomberg data showed that the current major shareholder in Asdion is businessman Tey Por Yee, who has a 22% stake.

Separately, a slew of boardroom changes at Asdion were announced yesterday, including the resignation of Yap Tai Yeong as non-executive director and member of the audit committee.

Tai Yeong is the brother of the company’s chief executive officer Yap Tai Tee.

New appointments were made, including that of Datuk Raime Unggi as non-executive director.

Asdion was listed in 2005 on the-then Mesdaq market. It was one of the many software companies taking advantage of the “software and IT craze” of that era.

It never quite made it as one of the stars among its Mesdaq peers, partly owing to it being a generic accounting software maker.

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