PETALING JAYA: Johor’s Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar has emerged as the single-largest individual shareholder in REDtone International Bhd following a spate of open-market purchases, coupled with the conversion of his warrants and convertible loan stocks into ordinary shares.
The recent activities have boosted his holdings in the company to 20% from 4.8% previously.
“We are excited to have Tuanku as one of our major shareholders, especially at a time when we are aiming to further solidify our growth and widen our profits,” REDtone chairman Datuk Seri Syed Ali Syed Abbas Al Habshee said in a statement.
The statement said Sultan Ibrahim had been steadily accumulating shares in REDtone before this, and that prior to the warrant and convertible loan stock conversion, he had held a 4.8% stake.
REDtone also saw 74.60 million shares being traded in an off-market deal at an average price of 80 sen yesterday.
According to stock-market data, the shares accounted for 11.1% of its paid-up of 668.93 million shares.
“It is a vote of confidence for the management, the company and its future prospects. The group has posted three consecutive years of profit since the financial year 2012. REDtone’s position in the telco industry will be further strengthened,” he added.
Syed Ali also said that REDtone hoped to further expand its business in Johor to capitalise on the economic growth of the state.
It also aimed to play a significant role in assisting in the creation of more employment opportunities in Johor, he added.
Meanwhile, the other substantial shareholder of REDtone, Berjaya Corp ’s chairman and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Robin Tan Yeong Ching, said he was pleased to hear of the stake increase by Sultan Ibrahim.
“This augurs well for the company, given that the Sultan is known to be an astute investor with a keen eye for companies and businesses with strong fundamentals and good growth potential,” Tan said in the same statement.
The corporate transaction in REDtone is the third major notable corporate transaction between the Sultan and the Tan family’s related companies.
Prior to this, StarBiz had reported back in February 2014 that he had paid RM396mil for a 15% stake in Tan Sri Vincent Tan’s privately-owned MOL AccessPortal Sdn Bhd.
MOL AccessPortal’s parent company, MOL Global Inc, subsequently listed on the US’ Nasdaq Stock Exchange in the fourth quarter of last year.
In December 2013, the Sultan paid RM250mil for 20% in Berjaya Times Square Sdn Bhd, which among others, owns the Berjaya Times Square Mall in Kuala Lumpur.