PETALING JAYA: Tan Sri Mokhzani Mahathir (pic) is puzzled by the hype surrounding his redesignation as the chief executive officer (CEO) of fibre optic cable manufacturer Opcom Holdings Bhd from a non-executive role previously.
The major shareholder of oil and gas (O&G) giant SapuraKencana Petroleum Bhd said that he had already been chairman of Opcom’s largest subsidiary over the last four years, and expressed surprise at the sharp rise in Opcom’s share price following his appointment as CEO last Friday.
“I have been the chairman of Opcom Cables Sdn Bhd, which is the biggest subsidiary of Opcom, over the last four years. I had been holding that role even when my brother, Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, was International Trade and Industry Deputy Minister,” said Mokhzani.
Opcom is synonymous with Mokhzani’s brother, Mukhriz, who is now Kedah Mentri Besar.
Mukhriz directly owns a 23.5% stake in Opcom under his own name, and further owns 20.93% via Rezeki Tegas Sdn Bhd. His wife, Toh Puan Norzieta Zakaria, has an indirect stake of 26.94% in the company through M Ocean Capital Sdn Bhd.
“It is going to be business as usual, and there are no special immediate plans for the company. There is more hype than fact on the stock,” Mokhzani told StarBiz. Mokhzani, who holds no equity position in the company, refutes any suggestion that Opcom is going to be made into an O&G company, or that it would be his new vehicle following his departure from SapuraKencana.
“We just did a restructuring of the people within the group, where they changed my position to an executive position. So, now I am the CEO, but in actual fact, I have always been here – running the biggest subsidiary of the company,” said Mokhzani.
Opcom Cables is a joint-venture company with Ericsson Network Technologies AB of Sweden, at a shareholding of 70% and 30%, respectively. It currently operates in a manufacturing plant in Shah Alam where it produces fiber optic cables, systems and accessories.
Opcom’s share price has doubled since late-February on speculation of Mokhzani’s impending entry into the company.
On Monday, Opcom’s share price closed 21.5 sen up to RM1.16 on a volume of 9.89 million shares. It is now up 104% on a year-to-date basis, and at its closing price had a market capitalisation of RM195.1mil.
Opcom is now trading at a historical price earnings ratio of 43.78 times. The company has been identified as one of the beneficiaries of the high-speed broadband phase two (HSBB phase 2) project.
In February, the Government had awarded Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) the HSBB phase 2 project, which would entail an investment of RM3.4bil. TM will collaborate with the Government to undertake the project to provide access and domestic core networks to deliver an end-to-end HSBB infrastructure.
Meanwhile, Chhoa Kwang Hua, who was previously an executive director of the company, has been redesignated to deputy CEO.
Chhoa’s involvement in Opcom has primarily been focused on the financial, strategy and business development aspects of the company.
For the third quarter to Dec 31, 2014, Opcom registered a net profit of RM1.2mil on the back of a revenue of RM19.52mil. For the nine-month period, meanwhile, net profit was up 105.18% to RM2.58mil on the back of a 61.12% jump in revenue to RM56.5mil.
Earlier this month, Mokhzani, together with his close associate Yeow Kheng Chew, stepped down from the board of SapuraKencana.
Mokhzani was the vice-chairman of the company, while Yeow was a non-executive director. The duo are still holding on to their 9.12% stake in SapuraKencana which they have via Khasera Baru Sdn Bhd and have said that they would not sell it.
Mokhzani and Yeow also have a major investment in Yinson Holdings Bhd. They hold an 18.55% stake in Yinson via Kencana Capital Sdn Bhd, and are the second largest shareholders after the company’s chairman Lim Han Weng.